IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Revenue Management Under a General Discrete Choice Model of Consumer Behavior


  • Kalyan Talluri

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27, 08005 Barcelona, Spain)

  • Garrett van Ryzin

    () (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)


Customer choice behavior, such as buy-up and buy-down, is an important phenomenon in a wide range of revenue management contexts. Yet most revenue management methodologies ignore this phenomenon---or at best approximate it in a heuristic way. In this paper, we provide an exact and quite general analysis of this problem. Specifically, we analyze a single-leg reserve management problem in which the buyers' choice behavior is modeled explicitly. The choice model is very general, simply specifying the probability of purchase for each fare product as a function of the set of fare products offered. The control problem is to decide which subset of fare products to offer at each point in time. We show that the optimal policy for this problem has a quite simple form. Namely, it consists of identifying an ordered family of "efficient" subsets S 1 , ..., S m , and at each point in time opening one of these sets S k , where the optimal index k is increasing in the remaining capacity x and decreasing in the remaining time. That is, the more capacity (or less time) available, the further the optimal set is along this sequence. We also show that the optimal policy is a nested allocation policy if and only if the sequence of efficient sets is nested, that is S 1 \subseteq S 2 \subseteq ... \subseteq S m . Moreover, we give a characterization of when nesting by fare order is optimal. We also develop an estimation procedure for this setting based on the expectation-maximization (EM) method that jointly estimates arrival rates and choice model parameters when no-purchase outcomes are unobservable. Numerical results are given to illustrate both the model and estimation procedure.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalyan Talluri & Garrett van Ryzin, 2004. "Revenue Management Under a General Discrete Choice Model of Consumer Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(1), pages 15-33, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:1:p:15-33

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guillermo Gallego & Garrett van Ryzin, 1994. "Optimal Dynamic Pricing of Inventories with Stochastic Demand over Finite Horizons," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(8), pages 999-1020, August.
    2. Kalyan Talluri & Garrett van Ryzin, 1998. "An Analysis of Bid-Price Controls for Network Revenue Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-1), pages 1577-1593, November.
    3. Youyi Feng & Guillermo Gallego, 2000. "Perishable Asset Revenue Management with Markovian Time Dependent Demand Intensities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(7), pages 941-956, July.
    4. Dror, Moshe & Trudeau, Pierre & Ladany, Shaul P., 1988. "Network models for seat allocation on flights," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 239-250, August.
    5. Michael A. Crew & Paul R. Kleindorfer, 1976. "Peak Load Pricing with a Diverse Technology," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 207-231, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:1:p:15-33. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.