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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

CORMSIS Seminar Event

16:00 - 17:00
4 December 2014

For more information regarding this event, please email Christine Currie at .

Event details

Estimation and pricing for substitutable products in choice-based Revenue Management


It has been proved that choice-based Revenue Management can result in significant increases in revenue. Estimating customer-choice models is difficult, especially in situations where it is not possible to observe customers who enter the system but do not purchase a product. As these are live sales systems, it is important that the system continues to earn revenues while the parameters are being estimated. We use a Multi-Armed Bandit experiment to find the optimal trade-off between learning and earning in choice-based Revenue Management. We use the Multinomial Logit model to describe customer preferences, and a variation of the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm is used to jointly estimate the parameters of this model and the customer arrival rate. This constitutes the learning phase. Approximate dynamic programming is used to find the set of optimal prices at each time step as part of the earning phase. The talk will describe the complete methodology that we have implemented and provide some numerical results.

Speaker information

Yalin Bi,University of Edinburgh,Yalin Bi is a PhD candidate at University of Southampton. She received her BSc from Zhejiang University and her MSc from The University of Edinburgh. Her work focuses on optimal pricing in Revenue Management. In particular, her research combines the estimation of customer choice behaviour and dynamic pricing substitutable products to maximising the seller’s revenue.

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