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GERAD seminar

An evaluation of ranking policies for trial-offer markets with social influence


May 27, 2016   10:30 AM — 12:00 PM

Gerardo Berbeglia Melbourne Business School, Australia

Social influence sometimes creates significant unpredictability in cultural markets (e.g films and music albums) providing one potential explanation why experts routinely fail at predicting commercial success of cultural products. As a result, social influence is often presented in a negative light. We study the dynamics of a trial-offer platform visited by consumers whose choice preferences can be modeled using a multinomial logit (MNL) or a mixed multinomial logit (MMNL). In this marketplace, consumers are influenced by past purchases, the inherent appeal of the products, and their visibility in the platform.

We examine various ranking policies that the platform owner (firm) could use and analyze their computational complexity, their long-term dynamics and predictability. We also analyze whether the effect of social influence is beneficial to the firm. The results obtained differ drastically depending on whether consumers follow the MNL model or the more general MMNL model.

Joint work with Andres Abeliuk, Franco Berbeglia, Manuel Cebrian, Felipe Maldonado and Pascal Van Hentenryck.


Room 4488
André-Aisenstadt Building
Université de Montréal Campus
2920, chemin de la Tour Montréal QC H3T 1J4 Canada

Associated organizations

Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management

Research Axis