Assortment Optimization Under the Mallows model

Antoine Désir, Vineet Goyal, Srikanth Jagabathula, Danny Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We consider the assortment optimization problem when customer preferences follow a mixture of Mallows distributions. The assortment optimization problem focuses on determining the revenue/profit maximizing subset of products from a large universe of products; it is an important decision that is commonly faced by retailers in determining what to offer their customers. There are two key challenges: (a) the Mallows distribution lacks a closed-form expression (and requires summing an exponential number of terms) to compute the choice probability and, hence, the expected revenue/profit per customer; and (b) finding the best subset may require an exhaustive search. Our key contributions are an efficiently computable closed-form expression for the choice probability under the Mallows model and a compact mixed integer linear program (MIP) formulation for the assortment problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4707-4715
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2016
Event30th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2016 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 5 Dec 201610 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 NIPS Foundation - All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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