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  4. Assortment optimization with choice model estimation and learning has been studied extensively in the data-driven revenue management literature. Existing methods and analysis, however, do not take into consideration the fact that some customers arriving at certain time periods might exhibit outlier purchasing behaviors. The work of Chen et al. studies dynamic assortment optimization in the presence of outlier customers modeled by an eps-contamination model. The impact of outlier customers on the revenue performance of an algorithm is analyzed and discussed. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 21, 2024
  5. Assortment optimization has received active explorations in the past few decades due to its practical importance. Despite the extensive literature dealing with optimization algorithms and latent score estimation, uncertainty quantification for the optimal assortment still needs to be explored and is of great practical significance. Instead of estimating and recovering the complete optimal offer set, decision-makers may only be interested in testing whether a given property holds true for the optimal assortment, such as whether they should include several products of interest in the optimal set, or how many categories of products the optimal set should include. This paper proposes a novel inferential framework for testing such properties. We consider the widely adopted multinomial logit (MNL) model, where we assume that each customer will purchase an item within the offered products with a probability proportional to the underlying preference score associated with the product. We reduce inferring a general optimal assortment property to quantifying the uncertainty associated with the sign change point detection of the marginal revenue gaps. We show the asymptotic normality of the marginal revenue gap estimator, and construct a maximum statistic via the gap estimators to detect the sign change point. By approximating the distribution of the maximum statistic with multiplier bootstrap techniques, we propose a valid testing procedure. We also conduct numerical experiments to assess the performance of our method. 
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  9. Abstract

    Every animal secretes mucus, placing them among the most diverse biological materials. Mucus hydrogels are complex mixtures of water, ions, carbohydrates, and proteins. Uncertainty surrounding their composition and how interactions between components contribute to mucus function complicates efforts to exploit their properties. There is substantial interest in commercializing mucus from the garden snail,Cornu aspersum, for skincare, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and composite materials.C. aspersumsecretes three mucus—one shielding the animal from environmental threats, one adhesive mucus from the pedal surface of the foot, and another pedal mucus that is lubricating. It remains a mystery how compositional differences account for their substantially different properties. Here, we characterize mucus proteins, glycosylation, ion content, and mechanical properties that could be used to provide insight into structure-function relationships through an integrative “mucomics” approach. We identify macromolecular components of these hydrogels, including a previously unreported protein class termed Conserved Anterior Mollusk Proteins (CAMPs). Revealing differences betweenC. aspersummucus shows how considering structure at all levels can inform the design of mucus-inspired materials.

     
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