【Academic Seminar】Dynamic Pricing For App - Enabled Freight Platforms - Mr. Yufeng Cao
Topic: Dynamic Pricing For App - Enabled Freight Platforms
Speaker: Mr. Yufeng Cao, Georgia Institute of Technology
Time and Date: 15:30 - 16:30, Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Venue: Boardroom, Dao Yuan Building
Trucking plays a critical role in the economy. Recent startups are disrupting the industry with mobile technology, creating app-enabled freight platforms. Known as Uber for trucks, these platforms connect truck drivers to more loads and provide more flexibility compared to traditional brokers. We explore a dynamic pricing problem on these platforms where truck drivers shop through available loads. We formulate the problem as a Markov decision process (MDP) that captures randomness on both sides of the market and incorporates drivers’ choice behavior. As MDPs are challenging to solve in general, we study two approximation frameworks: 1) an approximate dynamic program and 2) a fluid model. These approximations are tractable and their solutions provide managerial insights. Numerical experiments show that heuristics based on these approximations achieve near-optimal revenue performance.
Yufeng Cao is a Ph.D. candidate in Operations Research at Georgia Institute of Technology. He works on revenue management and marketplace analytics with applications in the airline, logistics, and retail industries. His research strives to narrow the gap between customer behavior modeling and empirical evidence and develop efficient methods to improve business operations. Yufeng Cao received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University and had consulting experience with companies both in China and in the US.