Hierarchical Dynamic Modeling for Individualized Bayesian Forecasting

Journal Article

We present a case study and methodological developments in large-scale hierarchical dynamic modeling for personalized prediction in commerce. The context is supermarket sales, where improved forecasting of customer/household-specific purchasing behavior informs decisions about personalized pricing and promotions on a continuing basis. This is a big data, big modeling and forecasting setting involving many thousands of customers and items on sale, requiring sequential analysis, addressing information flows at multiple levels over time, and with heterogeneity of customer profiles and item categories. Models developed are fully Bayesian, interpretable and multi-scale, with hierarchical forms overlaid on the inherent structure of the retail setting. Customer behavior is modeled at several levels of aggregation, and information flows from aggregate to individual levels. Forecasting at an individual household level infers price sensitivity to inform personalized pricing and promotion decisions. Methodological innovations include extensions of Bayesian dynamic mixture models, their integration into multi-scale systems, and forecast evaluation with context-specific metrics. The use of simultaneous predictors from multiple hierarchical levels improves forecasts at the customer-item level of main interest. This is evidenced across many different households and items, indicating the utility of the modeling framework for this and other individualized forecasting applications.

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Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yanchenko, AK; Deng, DD; Li, J; Cron, AJ; West, M