How to make a best-seller: optimal product design problems

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Rodríguez Laguna, Ismael and Rabanal Basalo, Pablo Manuel and Rubio Díez, Fernando (2017) How to make a best-seller: optimal product design problems. Applied soft computing, 55 . pp. 178-196. ISSN 1568-4946

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2017.01.036



Abstract

We formalize and analyze the computational complexity of three problems which are at the keystone of anymarketingmanagement process. Given the preferences of customers over the attribute values wemay assign to our product (i.e. its possible features), the attribute values of products sold by our competitors, and which attribute values are available to each producer (due to e.g. technological limitations, legal issues, or availability of resources), we consider the following problems: (a) select the attributes of our product in such a way that the number of customers is maximized; (b) find out whether there is a feasible strategy guaranteeing that, at some point in the future before some deadline, we will reach a given average number of customers during some period of time; and (c) the same question as (b), though the number of steps before the deadline is restricted to be, at most, the number of attributes. We prove that these problems are Poly-APX-complete, EXPTIME-complete, and PSPACE-complete, respectively. After presenting these theoretical properties, heuristic methods based on genetic, swarm and minimax algorithms are proposed to suboptimally solve these problems. We report experimental results where these methods are applied to solve some artificially-designed problem instances, and next we present a case study, based on real data, where these algorithms are applied to a particular kind of product: we automatically design the political platform of a political party to maximize its numbers of votes in an election (problem (a)) and its number of supporters along time (problems (b) and (c)). The problem instances solved in this case study are constructed from publicly released polls on political tendencies in Spain.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Marketing management, Product design, Computational complexity, Evolutionary computation, Heuristic methods, Non-cooperative game
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science > Artificial intelligence
Sciences > Computer science > Computer programming
Sciences > Computer science > Software
ID Code:71696
Deposited On:05 Apr 2022 10:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2022 10:27

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