60 research outputs found

    The generalized stochastic preference choice model

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    We propose a new discrete choice model that generalizes the random utility model (RUM). We show that this model, called the \emph{Generalized Stochastic Preference} (GSP) model can explain several choice phenomena that can't be represented by a RUM. In particular, the model can easily (and also exactly) replicate some well known examples that are not RUM, as well as controlled choice experiments carried out since 1980's that possess strong regularity violations. One such regularity violation is the \emph{decoy effect} in which the probability of choosing a product increases when a similar, but inferior product is added to the choice set. An appealing feature of the GSP is that it is non-parametric and therefore it has very high flexibility. The model has also a simple description and interpretation: it builds upon the well known representation of RUM as a stochastic preference, by allowing some additional consumer types to be non-rational

    Bargaining Mechanisms for One-Way Games

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    We introduce one-way games, a framework motivated by applications in large-scale power restoration, humanitarian logistics, and integrated supply-chains. The distinguishable feature of the games is that the payoff of some player is determined only by her own strategy and does not depend on actions taken by other players. We show that the equilibrium outcome in one-way games without payments and the social cost of any ex-post efficient mechanism, can be far from the optimum. We also show that it is impossible to design a Bayes-Nash incentive-compatible mechanism for one-way games that is budget-balanced, individually rational, and efficient. To address this negative result, we propose a privacy-preserving mechanism that is incentive-compatible and budget-balanced, satisfies ex-post individual rationality conditions, and produces an outcome which is more efficient than the equilibrium without payments. The mechanism is based on a single-offer bargaining and we show that a randomized multi-offer extension brings no additional benefit.Comment: An earlier, shorter version of this paper appeared in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth International joint conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 201

    Optimizing Expected Utility in a Multinomial Logit Model with Position Bias and Social Influence

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    Motivated by applications in retail, online advertising, and cultural markets, this paper studies how to find the optimal assortment and positioning of products subject to a capacity constraint. We prove that the optimal assortment and positioning can be found in polynomial time for a multinomial logit model capturing utilities, position bias, and social influence. Moreover, in a dynamic market, we show that the policy that applies the optimal assortment and positioning and leverages social influence outperforms in expectation any policy not using social influence

    Measuring and Optimizing Cultural Markets

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    Social influence has been shown to create significant unpredictability in cultural markets, providing one potential explanation why experts routinely fail at predicting commercial success of cultural products. To counteract the difficulty of making accurate predictions, "measure and react" strategies have been advocated but finding a concrete strategy that scales for very large markets has remained elusive so far. Here we propose a "measure and optimize" strategy based on an optimization policy that uses product quality, appeal, and social influence to maximize expected profits in the market at each decision point. Our computational experiments show that our policy leverages social influence to produce significant performance benefits for the market, while our theoretical analysis proves that our policy outperforms in expectation any policy not displaying social information. Our results contrast with earlier work which focused on showing the unpredictability and inequalities created by social influence. Not only do we show for the first time that dynamically showing consumers positive social information under our policy increases the expected performance of the seller in cultural markets. We also show that, in reasonable settings, our policy does not introduce significant unpredictability and identifies "blockbusters". Overall, these results shed new light on the nature of social influence and how it can be leveraged for the benefits of the market

    Popularity signals in trial-offer markets with social influence and position bias

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    This paper considers trial-offer markets where consumer preferences are modelled by a multinomial logit with social influence and position bias. The social signal for a product is given by its current market share raised to power r (or, equivalently, the number of purchases raised to the power of r). The paper shows that, when r is strictly between 0 and 1, and a static position assignment (e.g., a quality ranking) is used, the market converges to a unique equilibrium where the market shares depend only on product quality, not their initial appeals or the early dynamics. When r is greater than 1, the market becomes unpredictable. In many cases, the market goes to a monopoly for some product: which product becomes a monopoly depends on the initial conditions of the market. These theoretical results are complemented by an agent-based simulation which indicates that convergence is fast when r is between 0 and 1, and that the quality ranking dominates the well-known popularity ranking in terms of market efficiency. These results shed a new light on the role of social influence which is often blamed for unpredictability, inequalities, and inefficiencies in markets. In contrast, this paper shows that, with a proper social signal and position assignment for the products, the market becomes predictable, and inequalities and inefficiencies can be controlled appropriately