UCL School of Management

PhD Research Day - Operations and Management Science


Monday, 5 June 2017
9.30 – 16.00

Research Day in Operations and Management Science

UCL School of Management

Monday 5 June 2017 

UCL School of Management invites PhD students and faculty members from leading universities to gather and discuss research in the fields of Operations and Management Science.

This event takes place on Monday 5 June 2017, and is open to invited PhD students and faculty members. 

If you would like to attend, please register your interest. (We encourage all participating PhDs to present even if it is an early stage work)

- Format of the Research Day: The event is for PhD student development. We expect a good number of PhD students to attend and present their work in a 30 mins presentation (including Q&A). Presenting students will receive constructive feedback and comments from participating faculty members and fellow students. This is an ideal event to present and improve your work in a friendly environment and to network with others.


9.30-9.50: Welcome

9.50-11.50: Student Presentations

12.00-13.00: Lunch

13.00-15.00: Student Presentations 

15.00-16.00: Reception

Detailed Programme:




PhD Presentations

(30 mins each including Q&A)

1. Hang Ren, UCL

Title: Service Systems With Unknown Quality and Customer Anecdotal Reasoning
Authors: Hang Ren, Tingliang Huang, Kenan Arifoglu

Abstract: We consider a service system where customers do not know the distribution of uncertain service quality and cannot estimate it fully rationally; instead, they form beliefs by taking the average of anecdotes. The sample size measures to what extent customers are boundedly rational. We characterize customers’ joining behavior and the server’s pricing, quality, and information disclosure decisions. As customers gather more anecdotes, the server may first decrease and then increase price, and the revenue is U-shaped. Interestingly, more anecdotes may induce a lower quality. Moreover, a low (high)-quality service provider may (not) disclose quality information if the sample size is small (large).

2. Esma Koca, Imperial  College

Title: Designing the Product Rollovers and Managing Technological Obsolescence

Authors: Esma Koca, Tommaso Valletti, Wolfram Wiesemann

Abstract: When releasing a new version of a product, a firm ideally convinces its existing consumer base to upgrade while attracting new consumers at the same time. To this end, the company designs a rollover strategy, which selects the price of the new product, as well as whether to continue the sales of the old product at a discount (dual rollover) or not (single rollover). We argue that the effectiveness of a rollover crucially depends on the consumers’ perception of the obsolescence of the previous product version, and that the company can influence this obsolescence by a prudent timing of the new product launch. We explore the impact of this timing decision in solo and dual rollovers as well as markets consisting of myopic and strategic consumers.

3. Xiaojia Guo, UCL

Title: Probabilistic forecasting with XGBoost

Authors: Xiaojia Guo, Yael Grushka-Cockayne, Casey Lichtendahl, Bert De Reyck

Abstract: XGBoost is one of today’s leading machine learning predictive model. We propose a novel method for extending the XGBoost algorithm to generate probabilistic predictions and not only point predictions. This provides more robust forecasts, for firms wishing to consider a broad range of possible outcomes. In the empirical study on forecasting passengers’ connecting times at Heathrow, we compare the performance of our model with other leading methods.

4. Xiaochun Meng, Oxford

Title: Probabilistic Forecasting of Daily Extreme Temperature using Bivariate Models of Daily Minimum and Maximum Time Series
Authors: Xiaochun Meng and James W. Taylor

Abstract: Understanding changes in the frequency, severity, and seasonality of daily temperature extremes is important for public policy decisions regarding heat and cold waves. We model the daily minimum and maximum temperature using a bivariate VARMA-MGARCH model, with conditional dependency modelled using a dynamic copula. A useful by- product is the implicit modelling of the daily average and the diurnal temperature range, which has been used as an index of climate change. We model Spanish data recorded over a 65-year-period. To evaluate bivariate density estimates, we propose a new weighted energy score in order to focus on the extremes of the density.




PhD Presentations

(30 mins each including Q&A)

5. Kraig Delana, LBS

Title: Proactive Customer Service
Authors: Kraig Delana, Nicos Savva, Tolga Tezcan

Abstract: We examine the proactive service of customers.  This serves to match demand to provider capacity in settings where customers are more flexible than provider capacity. Our research uses queueing theory (diffusion limit approximations) to quantify the performance improvement and economic theory (simultaneous move game) to identify under what conditions customers would willing to be flexible (i.e. adopt the proactive service).   We show that all customers benefit by proactive service even if only a fraction of customers are flexible.  Despite the substantial reductions in delays, we find customers systematically under adopt proactive service compared to socially optimal due to a positive externality.

6. Aikaterini Papoutsi, Cass

Title:  An exploration of sustainability reporting by companies
Authors: Aikaterini Papoutsi, ManMohan Sodhi, Canan Kocabasoglu- Hillmer

Abstract: We investigate the concept of sustainability within the context of reporting environmental and social sustainability. Firms’ accountability for social and environmental issues has broadened the scope of reporting from financial alone to include sustainability. We explore what companies are actually reporting for sustainability in their annual sustainability reports Data was collected on environmental and social sustainability on 331 companies by coding information in the companies’ sustainability reports. Next, we explore the link between what companies publish in sustainability reports to what companies publish for financial performance. Financial data from the same sample of companies are used to explore the link using structural equation modeling. The purpose of this study is to understand how financial performance is tied to environmental or social sustainability practices of companies, given that companies are reporting to signal to shareholders among others.

7. Nilam Kaushik, UCL

Title: Exploring the impact of idea sources on the successful evaluation of ideas

Authors: Nilam Kaushik and Bilal Gokpinar

Abstract: In this project, I explore the factors affecting the successful evaluation of ideas on a crowdsourcing platform. In particular I am interested in understanding how the diversity, semantic distance of source ideas from the problem domain and the ways in which sources recombine affect the likelihood of idea success. I leverage text mining techniques and information retrieval methods to understand the recombination process.

8. Prateek Raj, UCL

Title:  Evolution of Trust in Impersonal Exchange

What are the conditions when exchange between strangers emerges and sustains, in societies where exchange has been limited within familiar contacts? This paper finds that societies, in which exchange is limited within familiar contacts, are resistant to change and are punctuated in an equilibrium.   For exchange with strangers to sustain, such an exchange should provide a large benefit in comparison to exchanges with familiar contacts, and to possible cost/temptation from cheating. I call this the Institutional Condition, where favorable conditions Institutionally Enable the transition. Moreover, for such exchange with strangers to emerge, a minimum threshold of traders need to adopt standardized codes that reduce partiality in conduct. I call this the Cultural Condition, where presence of Horizontal Communicator(s) catalyzes the transition. ​I look at the cases of seventh century Arabia, twelfth century Italy and sixteenth century Northwestern Europe, which were transformative periods in history of global commerce, where exchange opened up beyond familiar and trusted circles like kinship and guilds. I describe the institutional and cultural conditions that enabled this transition.



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PhD Programme
Last updated Wednesday, 31 May 2017