Identifying early buyers from purchase data

Paat Rusmevichientong, Shenghuo Zhu, David Selinger
2004 Proceedings of the 2004 ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery and data mining - KDD '04  
Market research has shown that consumers exhibit a variety of different purchasing behaviors; specifically, some tend to purchase products earlier than other consumers. Identifying such early buyers can help personalize marketing strategies, potentially improving their effectiveness. In this paper, we present a non-parametric approach to the problem of identifying early buyers from purchase data. Our formulation takes as inputs the detailed purchase information of each consumer, with which we
more » ... er, with which we construct a weighted directed graph whose nodes correspond to consumers and whose edges correspond to purchases consumers have in common; the edge weights indicate how frequently consumers purchase products earlier than other consumers. Identifying early buyers corresponds to the problem of finding a subset of nodes in the graph with maximum difference between the weights of the outgoing and incoming edges. This problem is a variation of the maximum cut problem in a directed graph. We provide an approximation algorithm based on semidefinite programming (SDP) relaxations pioneered by Goemans and Williamson, and analyze its performance. We apply the algorithm to real purchase data from, providing new insights into consumer behaviors.
doi:10.1145/1014052.1014138 dblp:conf/kdd/RusmevichientongZS04 fatcat:2etwdetm4jb7hoqmymwi43r26i