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A column generation algorithm for choice-based network revenue management. (English) Zbl 1233.90061
Summary: During the past few years, there has been a trend to enrich traditional revenue management models built upon the independent demand paradigm by accounting for customer choice behavior. This extension involves both modeling and computational challenges. One way to describe choice behavior is to assume that each customer belongs to a segment, which is characterized by a consideration set, i.e., a subset of the products provided by the firm that a customer views as options. Customers choose a particular product according to a multinomial-logit criterion, a model widely used in the marketing literature.
In this paper, we consider the choice-based, deterministic, linear programming model (CDLP) of G. Gallego et al. [“Managing flexible products on a network”, Technical Report CORC TR-2004-01, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Columbia University, New York (2004)], and the follow-up dynamic programming decomposition heuristic of G. J. van Ryzin and Q. Liu [“On the choice-based linear programming model for network revenue management”, Manuf. Service Oper. Manag. 10, No. 2 288–310 (2008)]. We focus on the more general version of these models, where customers belong to overlapping segments. To solve the CDLP for real-size networks, we need to develop a column generation algorithm. We prove that the associated column generation subproblem is indeed NP-hard and propose a simple, greedy heuristic to overcome the complexity of an exact algorithm. Our computational results show that the heuristic is quite effective and that the overall approach leads to high-quality, practical solutions.

90B06 Transportation, logistics and supply chain management
90C32 Fractional programming
90C11 Mixed integer programming
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