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Should Optimal Designers Worry About Consideration?

[+] Author Affiliations
Minhua Long, W. Ross Morrow

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Paper No. DETC2014-34493, pp. V02AT03A029; 18 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 40th Design Automation Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4631-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Consideration set formation using non-compensatory screening rules is a vital component of real purchasing decisions with decades of experimental validation. Marketers have recently developed statistical methods that can estimate quantitative choice models that include consideration set formation via non-compensatory screening rules. But is capturing consideration within models of choice important for design? This paper reports on a simulation study of a vehicle portfolio design when households screen over vehicle body style built to explore the importance of capturing consideration rules for optimal designers. We generate synthetic market share data, fit a variety of discrete choice models to this data, and then optimize design decisions using the estimated models. Model predictive power, design “error”, and profitability relative to ideal profits are compared as the amount of market data available increases. We find that even when estimated compensatory models provide relatively good predictive accuracy, they can lead to sub-optimal design decisions when the population uses consideration behavior; convergence of compensatory models to non-compensatory behavior is likely to require unrealistic amounts of data; and modeling heterogeneity in non-compensatory screening is more valuable than heterogeneity in compensatory trade-offs. This supports the claim that designers should carefully identify consideration behaviors before optimizing product portfolios. We also find that higher model predictive power does not necessarily imply better design decisions; that is, different model forms can provide “descriptive” rather than “predictive” information that is useful for design.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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