Xiaojia Guo, a PhD student at UCL School of Management, has won the prestigious Best Student Paper Award at the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society.
INFORMS is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to and promoting best practices and advances in operations research, management science, and analytics.
They also publish some of the world’s most respected journals in the fields of operations, management, and analytics.
Xiaojia won the Best Student Paper Award for her paper titled ‘Quantile Forecasts of Product Life Cycles Using Exponential Smoothing’, a paper which she worked on with Professor Bert De Reyck.
The paper studies the problem of forecasting the entire distribution of demand for a new product that evolves according to a dynamically changing, skewed life cycle. (Operations and marketing experts, in both academia and practice, have been challenged for decades to forecast new product life cycles.)
Many experts are familiar with the attractive nature of exponential smoothing models and use them to make other time series forecasts at scale. This work is the first to develop an exponential smoothing model that can forecast a product life cycle. The model also includes prior distributions on its parameters, which become regularization terms in an efficient estimation procedure.
In a data-driven operations environment, the model can produce accurate life-cycle forecasts frequently, automatically, and at scale. The model’s interpretability should be attractive to managers who already use exponential smoothing for other forecasting purposes.
Upon hearing news of the award, Xiaojia expressed her delight: “It is a great honour for me to receive this award. Winning the competition means a great deal, and I believe our paper will prosper and receive more attention as a result of winning this prestigious award.”
Xiaojia will receive the award, along with $500, when she presents her paper at the upcoming 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, which takes place in November.