Internet Shopping Optimization Project

SCHEME: INTER

CALL: 2013

DOMAIN: IS - Business Service Design

FIRST NAME: Pascal

LAST NAME: Bouvry

INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP / PPP: No

INDUSTRY / PPP PARTNER:

HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: e-commerceBusiness ServiceCloud Computing ServiceInternet ShoppingWeb optimizationOperations researchOptimization

START: 2014-03-01

END: 2017-02-28

WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

This project proposes innovative and realistic models for different typical online shopping operations, supported by strong mathematical and operational research fundamentals, and well balanced with lightweight computational algorithms. These models are designed in order to allow the optimization of such transactions. Finding accurate solutions to the defined problems implies both lowering customer expenses and favouring market competitiveness. One of the main aims of this project is to model and formulate new advanced and realistic flavours of the Internet Shopping Optimization Problem (ISOP), considering discounts and additional conditions like price sensitive shipping costs, incomplete offers from shops, or the minimization of the total realization time, price, and delivery time functions, among others. The models will be mathematically and theoretically well founded. Moreover, the challenge of defining and addressing a multi-criteria version of the problem will be addressed too. Other important contributions will be the mapping of ISOP to other new challenges. One of them is the design of a novel business model for cloud brokering that will benefit both cloud providers and consumers. Providers will be able to easily offer their large number of services, and to get a fast answer from the market to offers (e.g., when infrastructure is under-utilized). Additionally, customers will easily benefit from offers and find the most appropriate deals for his/her needs (according to service level agreements, pricing, performance, etc.). Modelling some of these aspects and coupling it with an optimization tool for the brokering of cloud services among various providers would be a key contribution to the field. Two additional novel related problems will be addressed in the project, both of them dealing with enhancing web sites by speeding them up and improving their utilization by optimally placing advertisements and reducing the required bandwidth for transferring data. We believe that these are two very important problems for e-commerce applications, which always rely on websites, and they might highly influence on the customer’s disposition to buy on a given website, or even to visit it again or recommend it to others.Finally, a wide set of optimization algorithms will be designed and developed for the addressed problems. They include from fast lightweight specialized heuristics to highly accurate parallel and multi-objective population-based metaheuristics. They all will be embedded in a software framework for their practical applications, and validation.

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