Using Neural Networks to Guide Data-Driven Operational Decisions
43 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2022 Last revised: 27 Dec 2022
Date Written: September 12, 2022
We propose to use Deep Neural Networks to solve data-driven stochastic optimization problems. Given the historical data of the observed covariate, taken decision, and the realized cost in past periods, we train a neural network to predict the objective value as a function of the decision and the covariate. Once trained, for a given covariate, we optimize the neural network over the decision variable using gradient-based methods because the gradient and the Hessian matrix can be analytically computed. We characterize the performance of our methodology based on the generalization bound of the neural network. We show strong performance on two signature problems in operations management, the newsvendor problem and the assortment pricing problem.
Keywords: Deep Neural Networks, data-driven, newsvendor problem, product pricing
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