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Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Traveling Shopper Problem



Our correspondent at Wharton, Peter S. Fader, writes in Knowledge@Wharton about how shoppers travel in stores. The Traveling Salesman problem is a classic operations research model where someone must find a best path to visit pre-designated locations in minimal time. For example, a shopper seeking to find all the items on a list. Fader mines his large database of real shopper travel data to find out what shoppers really do, and what kind of challenges this raises for retailers when designing or reformatting their stores. Some lessons for us as well. Link to the full paper.

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