Detection of Click Spamming in Mobile Advertising

Safiye Şeyma Kaya, Burak Çavdaroğlu, Kadir Soner Şensoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Most of the marketing expenditures in mobile advertising are conducted through real-time bidding (RTB) marketplaces, in which ad spaces of the sellers (publishers) are auctioned for the impression of the buyers’ (advertisers) mobile apps. One of the most popular pricing models in RTB marketplaces is cost-per-install (CPI). In a CPI campaign, publishers place mobile ads of the highest bidders in their mobile apps and are paid by advertisers only if the advertised app is installed by a user. CPI pricing model causes some publishers to conduct an infamous fraudulent activity, known as click spamming. A click spamming publisher executes clicks for lots of users who have not authentically made them. If one of these users hears about the advertised app organically (say, via TV commercial) afterwards and installs it, this install will be attributed to the click spamming publisher. In this study, we propose a novel multiple testing procedure which can identify click spamming activities using the data of click-to-install time (CTIT), the time difference between the click of a mobile app’s ad and the first launch of the app after the install. We statistically show that our procedure has a false-positive error rate of 5% in the worst case. Finally, we run an experiment with 30 publishers, half of which are fraudulent. According to the results of the experiment, all non-fraudulent publishers are correctly identified and 73% of the fraudulent publishers are successfully detected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Operational Research in the Balkans
Subtitle of host publication13th Balkan Conference on Operational Research
EditorsNenad Mladenovic, Angelo Sifaleras, Marija Kuzmanovic
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-21990-1
ISBN (Print)9783030219895
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Balkan Conference on Operational Research, BALCOR 2018 - Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 25 May 201828 May 2018

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Business and Economics
ISSN (Print)2198-7246
ISSN (Electronic)2198-7254


Conference13th Balkan Conference on Operational Research, BALCOR 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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