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Proposal for user modeling workshop: http://research.yahoo.com/workshops/umwa2011/
We introduce here the concept of “computational market research” by drawing on the analogy with computational advertising. We first explain how market research traditionally works and we describe the current state of the art in the field through examples. We then explain how, by introducing appropriate targeting and user modeling techniques, market research can be conducted at a larger scale, in a more efficient (for companies) and more enjoyable (for users) manner. We focus on the technical challenges of user modeling for the specific goals of computational market research, illustrating our purpose with actual examples from toluna.com. Toluna.com is one of the leading Web2.0 sites for polls, surveys and opinions, where users can voluntarily join market research panels. We show real life examples on a live demo during the workshop, and demonstrate novel features for polling and user qualification on the toluna.com site. We conclude by discussing future research directions for this emerging field.