In this paper, we consider the yet-uncharted assortment optimization problem under the exponomial choice model, in which the objective is to determine the revenue-maximizing set of products that should be offered to customers. Our main algorithmic contribution comes in the form of a fully polynomial-time approximation scheme, showing that the optimal expected revenue can be efficiently approached within any degree of accuracy. We synthesize several ideas related to approximate dynamic programming, intended to construct a compact discretization of the continuous state space by keeping track of “key statistics” in rounded form and by operating with a suitable bit precision complexity. We complement this result by a number of NP-hardness reductions to natural extensions of this problem. Moreover, we conduct empirical and computational evaluations of the exponomial choice model and our solution method. Focusing on choice models with a simple parametric structure, we provide new empirical evidence that the exponomial choice model can achieve higher predictive accuracy than the multinomial logit (MNL) choice model on several real-world data sets. We uncover that this predictive performance correlates with certain characteristics of the choice instance—namely, the entropy and magnitude of choice probabilities. Finally, we leverage fully ranked preference data to simulate the expected revenue of optimal assortments prescribed using the fitted exponomial and MNL models. On semisynthetic data, the exponomial-based approach can lift revenues by 3%–4% on average against the corresponding MNL benchmark.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
History: Accepted by Chung Piaw Teo, optimization. Funding: The research of Danny Segev on this project was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [Grants 148/10 and 1407/20]. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2022.4492.
Copyright: © 2022 INFORMS.
- approximate dynamic programming
- assortment optimization
- case study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research