Integrated revenue management approaches for capacity control with planned upgrades
In many service industries, firms offer a portfolio of similar products based on different types of resources. Mismatches between demand and capacity can therefore often be managed by using product upgrades. Clearly, it is desirable to consider this possibility in the revenue management systems that are used to decide on the acceptance of requests. To incorporate upgrades, we build upon different dynamic programming formulations from the literature and gain several new structural insights that facilitate the control process under certain conditions. We then propose two dynamic programming decomposition approaches that extend the traditional decomposition for capacity control by simultaneously considering upgrades as well as capacity control decisions. While the first approach is specifically suited for the multi-day capacity control problem faced, for example, by hotels and car rental companies, the second one is more general and can be applied in arbitrary network revenue management settings that allow upgrading. Both approaches are formally derived and analytically related to each other. It is shown that they give tighter upper bounds on the optimal solution of the original dynamic program than the well-known deterministic linear program. Using data from a major car rental company, we perform computational experiments that show that the proposed approaches are tractable for real-world problem sizes and outperform those disaggregated, successive planning approaches that are used in revenue management practice today.
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