—The Traveling Salesman Goes Shopping: The Systematic Deviations of Grocery Paths from TSP Optimality
We examine grocery shopping paths using the traveling salesman problem (TSP) as a normative frame of reference. We define the TSP-path for each shopper as the shortest path that connects all of his purchases. We then decompose the length of each observed path into three components: the length of the TSP-path, the additional distance because of (i.e., not following the TSP-order of category purchases), and the additional distance because of (i.e., not following the shortest point-to-point route). We explore the relationship between these deviations and different aspects of in-store shopping/purchase behavior. Among other things, our results suggest that (1) a large proportion of trip length is because of travel deviation; (2) paths that deviate substantially from the TSP solution are associated with larger shopping baskets; (3) order deviation is strongly associated with purchase behavior, while travel deviation is not; and (4) shoppers with paths closer to the TSP solution tend to buy more from frequently purchased product categories.
Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (05-06)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:566-572. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.