Labs
Mercury Machine Learning Lab

Mercury Machine Learning Lab

A collaboration between Booking.com, the University of Amsterdam, and Delft University of Technology.

Mekelweg 5, 2628 CD Delft

The Mercury Machine Learning Lab is a collaboration between University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and Booking.com. The lab focuses on the development and applications of artificial intelligence to the specific domain of online travel booking and recommendation service systems.

The collaboration of Mercury Machine Learning Lab combines expertise of scientists from the University of Amsterdam (information retrieval, causality and natural language processing), Delft University of Technology (reinforcement learning) with the unique expertise, experience and availability of big data at Booking. Over the period of five years, six PhD researchers and two postdocs work in the lab on six work packages.

The research projects cover fundamental research topics, ranging from model-based exploration, parallel model-based reinforcement learning, methods for combined online and offline evaluation, prediction methods that correct for undesired feedback loops and selection bias, domain generalization and domain adaptation, and novel language processing models for better generalization. These topics are both of fundamental scientific importance, as well as of immediate practical relevance for modern online businesses like Booking that aim to maximize customer satisfaction in quickly changing markets with the help of sophisticated data analytics.

Sustainable Development Goals

Research projects

  • Model-based Exploration: Effectively performing exploration in the non-stationary and multi-faceted environments that Booking.com interacts with.
  • Bridging online and offline evaluation: To develop and evaluate methods, both theoretically and experimentally, that bridge the gap between online evaluation and offline (off-policy) evaluation.
  • Novel language processing models for better generalization: To develop methods for training NLP models that explicitly target generalization across multiple related tasks.

People

Joris Mooij
Frans Oliehoek
Matthijs Spaan
Onno Zoeter

PHD Students

Joris Mooij
Frans Oliehoek
Matthijs Spaan
Onno Zoeter

Partners

Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch startup in 1996 to one of the world’s leading digital travel companies.

Delft University of Technology is a leading international university that combines science, development, and design.

University of Amsterdam is a modern institution and one of Europe’s most prominent research-led universities.

Booking.com
TUDelft
University of Amsterdam
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