Optimal airline ticket purchasing using automated user-guided feature selection

William Groves, Maria L Gini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Airline ticket purchase timing is a strategic problem that requires both historical data and domain knowledge to solve consistently. Even with some historical information (often a feature of modern travel reservation web sites), it is difficult for consumers to make true cost-minimizing decisions. To address this problem, we introduce an automated agent which is able to optimize purchase timing on behalf of customers and provide performance estimates of its computed action policy based on past performance. We apply machine learning to recent ticket price quotes from many competing airlines for the target flight route. Our novelty lies in extending this using a systematic feature extraction technique incorporating elementary user-provided domain knowledge that greatly enhances the performance of machine learning algorithms. Using this technique, our agent achieves much closer to the optimal purchase policy than other proposed decision theoretic approaches for this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIJCAI 2013 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Pages150-156
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Event23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: Aug 3 2013Aug 9 2013

Other

Other23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2013
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period8/3/138/9/13

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