Spring and Summer 2021


In This Issue:


Message from the Section Chair


Dear RMP members: I hope you are having a safe and productive summer.

In this newsletter, we would like to update you on a number of activities that our Section is pursuing as well as give you some updates on our future conferences (please mark your calendars). I want to take this opportunity to thank the organizing committee of the RMP conference Goker Aydin, Ozge Sahin and Ruxian Wang for putting together a very successful and stimulating conference. Please read Murray Lei’s reflections on the conference below for more details.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Also, don’t forget to invite your colleagues and students to join our RMP Section (details on how to join at the end).

Best wishes.


René Caldentey

Eli B. and Harriet B. Williams Professor of Operations Management
The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business


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Forthcoming RMP Board Elections


According to the section bylaws, there are three open officers and board member positions:

  • The Chair-Elect, who serves in this role for one year and goes on to serve as the Chair the year after
  • The Secretary/Treasurer, who serves a one-year term
  • A Board Member, who serves a two-year term

If you would like to recommend any colleagues for any of the three roles listed above, please let us know. To do so, please send an email to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Goker Aydin (Johns Hopkins University, goker.aydin@jhu.edu) by the end of the month. The Nominating Committee members are Goker Aydin, Rene Caldentey, and Ozge Sahin.


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Conference Updates


20th INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Conference: Reflection


The 20th Annual INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing (RMP) Section Conference was hosted this year by The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Due to the special circumstances, the conference was held virtually, as speakers from both academic and industry shared their recent works in a remote and live format.


In the morning session on Day One, Guillermo Gallego (HKUST) and Garrett J. van Ryzin (Amazon) kickstarted the conferences with their keynote presentation. They reflected on how the field of Pricing and Revenue Management evolves from primarily focusing on the airline industry to an exuberant community that examines a wide spectrum of emerging platforms driven by technology innovations. Continuing the success from previous years, the conference also features spotlight sessions where, after the authors presented their works, invited discussants further shared their thoughts and comments on the papers and pointed out impactful and interesting future research questions. As an audience, I found the discussants’ comments tremendously helpful in deepening my understanding of the papers. 


The conference hosted presentations from the four finalists (congratulations to all!) of the Inaugural RMP Data-Driven Research Challenge. Leveraging impression-level data from NetEase Cloud Music App, the finalist papers derive deep insights on the design of innovative marketplaces. The conference also featured a Practice Spotlight Session, where the presenters shared the methodologies and stories behind successful implementations of revenue management solutions in practice. Both the Data-Driven Research Challenge presentations and the Practice Spotlight Session brought cutting-edge practical challenges closer to the research community, and I hope that the conference will continue to host both in the future!


The conference showcased more than 130 research presentations with diverse applications and methodologies. For instance, Jinglong Zhao (MIT) presented an interesting and timely work on the design and analysis of switchback experiments. In this joint work with Iavor Bojinov (HBS) and David Simchi-Levi (MIT), the authors derive the optimal design of switchback experiments that leads to the lowest variance under minimal assumptions. Under the proposed optimal design, the authors further provide inference methods and establish asymptotic normality of the resulting estimators. Together, these findings provide solid theoretical foundations for a class of experiments that are widely adopted in practice. Francisco Castro (UCLA) presented his joint work with Omar Besbes and Santiago Balseiro (Columbia), where they investigated the implication of buyers’ imperfect value maximization behavior on mechanism design in the classic Myerson setting. The authors study the optimization of the mechanisms under approximate Incentive Compatibility (IC) constraint, which is considerably harder than the classic problem with exact IC constraint. Despite the challenges, the authors explicitly and precisely characterize the revenue gain when relaxing the IC constraints for both deterministic and randomized mechanisms, and further shed light on the structure of near-optimal mechanisms. Inki Sul (UTDallas), together with Ozalp Ozer and A. Serdar Simsek (UTDallas), conducted an empirical study where they examined the effect of anticipated regret on customers’ purchase decisions facing markdown pricing. The authors build a structural estimation model and confirm the existence of both high-price regret (i.e., buying at regular price instead of discounted price) and stockout regret (i.e., strategically waiting for discounted price under stockout risk) behaviors. Their counterfactual analysis further suggests that retailer may significantly increase their revenue by incorporating anticipated regret behavior in their pricing strategy. 


Congratulations to Goker Aydin, Ozge Sahin, and Ruxian Wang for organizing such a successful conference! I can only imagine the challenges in hosting the conference under such a special format. As I’m sure many would concur with me, attending the conference was a wonderful and exciting experience. I look forward to next year’s conference, which will take place in Chicago, hopefully in person!


Murray Lei

Smith School of Business, Queen’s University


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Forthcoming: 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting, RMP Cluster



The 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting will take place on October 24-27 in Anaheim, CA. It will be the first INFORMS conference to offer in-person meeting options since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic! The conference will continue to have a virtual component.


The Revenue Management and Pricing cluster are co-chaired by Francisco Castro (francisco.castro@anderson.ucla.edu, UCLA), Yao Cui (yao.cui@cornell.edu, Cornell), and Negin Golrezaei (golrezae@mit.edu, MIT). The RMP cluster will have 60 sessions and 260 presentations. The sessions offer a variety of novel topics including learning algorithms, data-driven revenue management, platform operations, matching markets, empirical research in revenue management, and practice-focused research.


Our annual Section business meeting will be conducted remotely (the week before INFORMS) on Zoom on Monday October 18, 4pm PST. More details and login information will be shared a few weeks before the meeting.


We look forward to seeing you in-person in Anaheim, CA!


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Practice Webinar Series


We launched the RMP practice webinar series in 2020 to better facilitate dialogues between academics and practitioners. We plan to run the webinar series as a regular event every quarter. So far, we have successfully hosted three webinars:

  • The first webinar took place on October 7, 2020. Robert Phillips (Amazon) talked about “Pricing and Analytics - Challenges and Research Opportunities”.
  • The second webinar took place on February 10, 2021. Vahab Mirrokni (Google) talked about “Recent Trends in Online Ad Markets: Robustness, Learning, and Automation”.
  • The third webinar took place on May 12, 2021. Nicolas Stier-Moses (Facebook) talked about “Operations Management Research at Facebook”.

The video recordings are available on our INFORMS site (https://connect.informs.org/rmp/rmpresources/webinar).


We are also happy to announce that our fourth webinar speaker is Hamid Nazerzadeh (USC/Uber). The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday September 15, 8pm EST. Please mark your calendar!


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Student Live Paper Series


We launched the RMP student live paper series on YouTube last year to promote works by RMP Section’s student members. This RMP student live paper series is an ongoing effort, and we will keep adding new presentations to the list. If you are interested, please send an email to RMPlivepaper20@gmail.com. There are already 18 talks in the channel! All talks can be accessed through our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVF0N1jTIgHOiepvKgrXAnw/videos.


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RMP Section – How to Join

To become a member of the Revenue Management and Pricing Section, it is the easiest (but not necessary) just to add it to the regular INFORMS membership. Those who’d rather focus exclusively on the Section’s activities can become members only of the Section by calling 1-800-446-3676. More information can be found at: http://connect.informs.org/rmp/membership/how-to-join

Benefits of Membership

As a member of the Section, you will receive benefits such as our newsletter, registration fee discount to annual section conference, 50% off the subscription rate to the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, and listserver announcements. More information can be found at: http://connect.informs.org/rmp/membership/benefits

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