WORKSHOP on Personification & Choice Modelling for Demand Management with Restricted Data

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Warwick Business School


We will organise a one-day workshop in The Shard in Central London on Personification and Choice Modelling in Demand Management that highlights the issues introduced by new regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation adopted by the EU in 2016 and how they will impact on current techniques for demand management, particularly personalised demand management.

The workshop will incorporate a keynote talk from Professor Catherine Tucker (MIT Sloan School of Management) on Personalisation and Electronic Privacy in Pricing and Digital Marketing; flash presentations from experts and users in the area (provisionally confirmed speakers are Prof Cormode, Warwick Computer Science and Alan Turing Institute; Prof Mandy Chessell, IBM Distinguished Engineer and IBM Master Inventor; Howard Langer, Global MD Pricing & Promotions, dunnhumby); an introduction to the framework from Dr Stalla-Bourdillon (Law, University of Southampton) and facilitated discussions to develop research questions.

Participants will come from operational research, digital marketing, behavioural science, computer science, service systems, law and statistics as well as users from organisations that use demand management.

A summary of the workshop will be written up and presented in a variety of styles to benefit other users, the general (interested) public, and other academics.

Planned Impact

The workshop will bring together both users and academics, ensuring that users benefit first hand from the talks and discussion on the day. Users will form a key part of the workshop, helping to set the agenda, provide some of the flash presentations, and to ensure that the research questions coming out of the day are relevant to them.

A key output of the workshop is to define the problems that UK Industry are facing under the new General Data Protection Regulation adopted by the EU in 2016. Users will develop a better understanding of these regulations during the one-day workshop and the implications for their current business practices. Discussions between users to share ideas and good practice would also be of benefit to participant organisations. The impact of the workshop will go beyond the attendees using mechanisms listed in the Pathway to Impact document, to increase understanding of these issues and associated open questions across UK industry.

Research resulting from the workshop will lead to improved transparency in the management of rationed goods (i.e. goods for which demand outstrips supply) and reassurance to customers of such goods that their personal information is being used effectively (and legally) to improve services without impinging on civil liberties.

We anticipate the workshop helping to increase the technical knowledge of UK practitioners and the commercial knowledge of UK researchers, helping to increase competitive advantage in this sector of the UK economy.

Being able to work within new regulations to maintain and improve the quality of demand management techniques is necessary to maintain profitability of UK business in this area. This workshop will provide ideas for how this can be done and will form one or more consortia for follow on projects that will aim to enhance UK business.

This workshop is timely, given the new regulations, and will provide benefits to businesses using the new regulations and customers of those businesses.


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Currie C (2018) Future research directions in demand management in Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management

Description The aims of the workshop were (1) to shape future research questions, (2) to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines, (3) to increase problem awareness and (4) to enable consortium building. Objective (1) was accomplised in that we identified a number of promising research questions related to personalisation, trading of private data, behavioural pricing and demand learning. These are described in more detail in a journal article submitted to the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management. Objective (2) was accomplished: we brought 33 researchers and practitioners together involving OR, computer science, service systems, law and others, as well as company representatives from Belmond, BT, Carnival, Dunnhumby, Expedia, IBM, Virgin Atlantac, and Severn Trent. The presentations by Prof Cormode (Computer Science, Warwick), Dr Stalla-Bourdillon (Law, Southampton), Prof Ng (Warwick Manufacturing Group), and Mandy Chessel (IBM) as well as the discussions of the day raised problem awareness (summarized in the journal article to the benefit of a wider audience). Therefore, objective (3) has likewise been achieved. Objective (4) has been achieved in as far as most workshop participants (including those from industry) have expressed a willingness to be involved in future research funding bids on topics rooted in the workshop's discussions.
Exploitation Route Our main communication will be via publication of a thought paper that we submitted to the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, which is being read by academics and practioners alike. We expect that the future research directions outlined therein will motivate future research endeavours.
Sectors Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Retail,Transport

Description Science and Technology Committee (Commons) - Submission of written evidence to "Algorithms in decision-making" inquiry
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Description News article in the Operational Research Society's Inside OR magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop had been announced in a brief news item in the Inside OR magazine in August 2017, and the workshop's findings were covered with a longer one-page article in the December 2017 issue of the magazine. This helped to disseminate the main findings (i.e., the identified research directions) of the workshop to a wider audience nationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description Workshop event in The Shard 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A workshop was organised on the WBS campus in The Shard, London, in September 2017. Its purpose was to identify future research directions in demand management and closely related disciplines against the background of recent developments such as new regulations, business models etc. The audience consisted of 33 participants from industry and academia, involving various disciplines and industry sectors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017