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Revenue management under general discrete choice model of consumer behavior
Talluri, Kalyan; van Ryzin, Garrett
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Customer choice behavior, such as 'buy-up' and 'buy-down', is an importantphe-nomenon in a wide range of industries. Yet there are few models ormethodologies available to exploit this phenomenon within yield managementsystems. We make some progress on filling this void. Specifically, wedevelop a model of yield management in which the buyers' behavior ismodeled explicitly using a multi-nomial logit model of demand. Thecontrol problem is to decide which subset of fare classes to offer ateach point in time. The set of open fare classes then affects the purchaseprobabilities for each class. We formulate a dynamic program todetermine the optimal control policy and show that it reduces to a dynamicnested allocation policy. Thus, the optimal choice-based policy caneasily be implemented in reservation systems that use nested allocationcontrols. We also develop an estimation procedure for our model based onthe expectation-maximization (EM) method that jointly estimates arrivalrates and choice model parameters when no-purchase outcomes areunobservable. Numerical results show that this combined optimization-estimation approach may significantly improve revenue performancerelative to traditional leg-based models that do not account for choicebehavior.
Operations Management
yield management
revenue management
discrete choice theory
dynamic programming
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