Profile Merge Rules and Device Graph FAQ

Answers to common Profile Merge Rule and device graph questions.

Contents:

Device Graph Basics

What is a device graph?

A device graph is a set of ID mappings that defines groups of anonymous devices. It associates these devices to a person or household based on common elements in the signals collected from each device. These signals help identify devices at the individual or household level.

What is an external device graph?

An external device graph is any device graph in Audience Manager that has not been created exclusively from your own cross-device data sources. For example, when you create a Profile Merge Rule and choose the Co-op Device Graph or third-party device graph options, you're working with an external device graph. See Device Options.

What are some common use cases for using an external device graph in a Profile Merge Rule?

The main objective of using a device graph in a Profile Merge Rule is to evaluate and qualify multiple devices belonging to a single person or household for a specific segment. The segment itself may have multiple uses for example, targeting an audience of prospects with and ad served by a DSP or personalizing a customer’s on-site experience via an on-site personalization platform. See External Device Graph Use Cases.

Does Audience Manager provide global support for external device graphs?

No. External device graphs are available in the United States and Canada only.

How often does Audience Manager update external device graph data?

Once a week.

Device Graphs and Profile Merge Rules

How does Audience Manager use a device graph?

In Audience Manager, device graphs appear as configuration options when you create a Profile Merge Rule. Through your Profile Merge Rules, these device graphs help Audience Manager:

  • Merge multiple device profiles together. This creates a single superset of traits.
  • Evaluate the trait superset for segment qualification (rather than evaluating each device profile individually).
  • Add qualified devices to available segments.

How many Profile Merge Rules can I create?

Currently, you can create a maximum of 3 Profile Merge Rules.

How many device profiles does Audience Manager merge and read when using a device graph in a Profile Merge Rule?

When qualifying a device for a segment using a Profile Merge Rule, Audience Manager merges and reads the current device profile and a maximum of 3 additional device profiles linked by your selected device graph option.

Which devices qualify for a segment when using a device graph in a Profile Merge Rule?

The devices Audience Manager merges and reads are the same devices that are qualified for a segment.

Note: For external device graphs, Audience Manager stores the mapping between devices at the platform level and selects 3 without evaluating their relationship to the devices seen in your instance of Audience Manager.

Which devices can qualify for a segment using a Profile Merge Rule that contains a device graph?

To qualify for a segment, devices must have been seen by Audience Manager on our edge data servers after the segment was created. Additionally, the edge servers:

  • Store profile data for a maximum of 14-days.
  • Delete a device profile if it has been inactive for more than 14-days. Note: This action only removes data from the edge. Other systems will retain records for longer time intervals. See the Privacy and Data Retention FAQ.
  • Reset the 14-day interval if Audience Manager records any activity for that profile across the entire platform.

See also, Data Collection Components.

Where can Audience Manager send segments that have been qualified by a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph?

Audience Manager can send segments to a destination in batch files or in real-time. And, as noted in the FAQ entry above, To qualify for a segment, devices must have been seen by Audience Manager on our edge data servers after the segment was created.

Segments, Device Graphs, and Profile Merge Rules

How does Audience Manager un-segment a device when it is no longer qualified for a segment with a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph?

Currently, Audience Manager does not remove (unsegment) devices from segments with a Profile Merge Rule using a device graph. To help ensure that a device is properly qualified for segments using this type of Profile Merge Rule, avoid the following when you create segment qualification criteria:

  • The Boolean value AND NOT to combine traits.
  • The comparison operators < = (less than or equal to) when applying recency and frequency to traits.

As a workaround to this temporary issue, create simple segments which do not use these operators and apply the operators to unsegment users in the destination platform itself. For more information, see Profile Merge Rules and Device Unsegmentation Processes.

Related reference includes Boolean Expressions in Trait and Segment Builder and Working With Comparison Operators in Trait Builder.

If a destination can un-segment devices, will devices be removed from segments by Profile Merge Rules that use a device graph?

No. Currently, this is unsupported for Profile Merge Rules that use a device graph option (e.g., Profile Link, the Adobe device graph, and any other third-party device graph available to you as a device option). However, unsegmentation is supported by Profile Merge Rules that use the Current Device Profile option.

If I build a segment with a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph and the segment is using both real-time and on-boarded data, will my segment be updated as the on-boarded data changes?

No. Currently, Audience Manager evaluates segments with a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph in real-time only. Updates made to on-boarded traits after the segment has been evaluated will be used to qualify the segment when the device is next seen by our edge data servers. This assumes the device profile is still active in the edge servers and the on-boarded data has been made available to those systems. See also, the Privacy and Data Retention FAQ.

Do segment size estimates include devices that qualify for a segment based on connections provided by a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph option?

No. See the definitions for the Estimated Real-Time Population and Estimated Total Population in Trait and Segment Population Data in Segment Builder.

Does Addressable Audiences include devices that qualify for a segment based on connections provided by a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph option?

Yes.

Trait Frequency, Device Graphs, and Profile Merge Rules

How does Audience Manager calculate trait frequency with a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph?

The trait frequency is defined by the sum of the number of qualifications for a specific trait across multiple devices. To help you understand this, take a look at the following use case.

Use Case Description

Conditions

  • Device A and Device B are linked by a device graph.
  • You have a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph option.
  • A single segment (Segment 1) composed of a single trait (Trait 1), where Trait 1 has a frequency of 8.

Actions

Audience Manager reads and merges the device profiles for Device A and Device B. From this, we see the following:

  • Device A has qualified for Trait 1 three times. It has a frequency of 3 for Trait 1.
  • Device B has qualified for Trait 1 five times. It has a frequence of 5 for Trait 1.

Results

Audience Manager sums the frequency for Trait 1 and uses 8 (3 + 5 = 8) to decide segment qualification. Device A and Device B qualify for Segment 1 because it has a frequency of 8.

Reports, Device Graphs, and Profile Merge Rules

Can I see the number of devices that can be reached by a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph?

Yes. Reports return data at the Profile Merge Rule level. Report data is updated daily. Data is based on the devices seen in your account, not those linked by a device graph. See Report Metrics for Profile Merge Rules.

Can I see the number of devices qualified for a specific segment in real-time with Profile Merge Rules that use a device graph?

Yes. The real-time population metric captures segment qualifications for the current device (the device seen in real-time) using the profiles from all of the devices linked by a device graph.

Use Case Element Description

Conditions

Suppose we have:

  • Segment 1 built on these traits and qualification logic: Segment 1 = Trait A and Trait B and Trait C.
  • 3 device profiles: Device 1 (current device), Device 2 (device graph), Device 3 (device graph).

Actions

Each available trait is associated with a device:

  • Device 1 : Trait A
  • Device 2 : Trait B
  • Device 3 : Trait C

Results

Given the previous elements, the total population for Segment 1 is one.

In this case, the Profile Merge Rule uses all the devices and their traits to decide segment qualification. This means Devices 1, 2, and 3 qualify for Segment 1, but, as noted above, only Device 1 is included in the real-time segment population. This is because:

  • Device 1 is the current device interacting with the Audience Manager Data Collection Servers (DCS) in real-time.
  • Devices 2 and 3 are associated to Device 1 by a device graph but they are not interacting with the DCS at the same time as Device 1.

As a result, Devices 2 and 3 are not included in the real-time segment population metric.

Can I see the total number of devices qualified for a specific segment with a Profile Merge Rule that uses a device graph?

Yes. The total segment population metric includes the additional devices that have qualified for a segment based on the connections from a device graph.

Use Case Element Description

Conditions

Suppose we have:

  • Segment 1 built on these traits and qualification logic: Segment 1 = Trait A and Trait B and Trait C.
  • 3 device profiles: Device 1 (current device), Device 2 (device graph), Device 3 (device graph).

Associations

Each available trait is associated with a device:

  • Device 1 : Trait A
  • Device 2 : Trait B
  • Device 3 : Trait C

Results

Given the previous elements, the total population for Segment 1 is three (3).

In this case, the Profile Merge Rule uses all the devices and their traits to decide segment qualification. This means Devices 1, 2, and 3 qualify for Segment 1 and all three are included in the total population.