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DS4DM Coffee Talk

Dynamic Pricing with Fairness Constraints


Jun 12, 2023   11:00 AM — 12:00 PM

Sentao Miao McGill University, Canada

Sentao Miao

Seminar in hybrid format in GERAD room 4488 or Zoom

Following the increasing popularity of personalized pricing, there is a growing concern from customers and policy makers regarding fairness considerations. This paper studies the problem of dynamic pricing with unknown demand under two types of fairness constraints: price fairness and demand fairness. For price fairness, the retailer is required to (i) set similar prices for different customer groups (called group fairness) and (ii) ensure that the prices over time for each customer group is relatively stable (called time fairness). We propose an algorithm based on an infrequently-changed upper-confidence-bound (UCB) method, which is proved to yield a near-optimal regret performance. We then leverage this method to address the extension of non-stationary demand, which is particularly relevant for time fairness to prevent price gouging practices. For demand fairness, the retailer is required to satisfy that the resulting demand from different customer groups is relatively similar (e.g., the retailer offers a lower price to students to increase their demand to a similar level as non-students). In this case, we design an algorithm adapted from a primal-dual learning framework and prove that our algorithm also achieves a near-optimal regret performance.

Biography: Sentao Miao is an Assistant Professor in Bensadoun School of Retail Management & Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. His research interests are mainly in developing efficient learning and optimization algorithms with various applications in Operations Management. For methodologies, Sentao Miao focuses on statistical and machine learning algorithms such as online learning, multi-arm bandit problem, reinforcement learning; he is also interested in approximation algorithms with provable performance. For applications, he mainly works on operations management problems such as dynamic pricing, assortment selection, inventory control, etc. Sentao Miao obtained his PhD degree in Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at University of Michigan.

Federico Bobbio organizer
Léa Ricard organizer
Defeng Liu organizer


Hybrid seminar at GERAD
Zoom et salle 4488
Pavillon André-Aisenstadt
Campus de l'Université de Montréal
2920, chemin de la Tour

Montréal Québec H3T 1J4

Associated organization