A Column Generation Heuristic for Districting the Price of a Financial Product

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This paper studies a districting problem which arises in the context of financial product pricing. The challenge lies in partitioning a set of small geographical regions into a set of larger territories. In each territory, the customers will share a common price. These territories need to be contiguous, contain enough customers and be as homogeneous as possible in terms of customer value. To address this problem we present a column generation-based heuristic where the subproblem generates contiguous territories taken into account a non linear objective function. Computational results indicate that the territories produced by this heuristic are about 35% more homogeneous than those previously used in practice. The developed algorithm has been transferred to a financial firm and is now used to help craft more competitive financial products.

, 20 pages

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Journal of the Operational Research Society, 66(6), 965–978, 2015 BibTeX reference