Combinatorial Optimization for Online Platforms (24w2021)


Rajan Udwani (UC Berkeley)

(Cornell University)

(NYU Stern School of Business)

Mika Sumida (University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Combinatorial Optimization for Online Platforms" workshop in Banff from April 5 - 7, 2024.

Combinatorial optimization, a vital branch of mathematics that deals with finding the best solution from a large discrete space of possible solutions, is assuming an increasingly pivotal role in the digital era as online platforms grapple with complex optimization challenges.

These platforms, encompassing e-commerce, social networks, ride-sharing, and streaming services, confront complex combinatorial optimization issues daily, including resource allocation, user matching, product recommendations, and item ranking. These platforms must also navigate a landscape fraught with uncertainties, such as customer demand, user behavior, substitution effects, and competitor actions, all while balancing multiple objectives, such as revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, social welfare, and fairness. A pioneering research workshop is set to explore the latest advancements and pressing questions in combinatorial optimization for online platforms. The focus will be on innovative optimization paradigms that adopt a holistic perspective, capable of handling the interconnected nature of these combinatorial and dynamic optimization challenges in a computationally tractable manner. Key topics under scrutiny include joint inventory and assortment optimization, the integration of fairness and diversity considerations into online platforms, and online and adaptive optimization. The event is poised to feature insightful talks by renowned experts in the field, as well as interactive sessions allowing participants to showcase their own work and engage in discussions about future directions.