Expedia www.expedia.com, the largest online travel company in the world and a WCAI Corporate Partner, seeks new approaches to determining which hotels to display when a consumer searches for a hotel on Expedia.com. By tailoring search results according to characteristics of the user session, the search query and the user profile, Expedia hopes to dramatically improve the proportion of customers who ultimately book a hotel through Expedia websites. To model consumer response, Expedia provided a data set that details events leading up to conversion (or failure to convert) for approximately 10,000 US-based users searching for hotels in each of four geographic markets (Cancun, NYC, Paris and Budapest). The data includes information about how the user arrived at Expedia, what promotional pages they have viewed, details of their search query such as dates and number of travelers, which hotels were displayed in search results, which hotels were clicked on and which hotels were purchased. Some of the research teams are also investigating issues related to consumer behavior and user-interface design, such as how consumers will react to search results that might change from one session to another or what is the right number of hotel listings to provide each user.

Note: This Research Opportunity remains open for proposal submissions. Interested researchers can submit proposals online through the WCAI Archived Proposal Submission Portal. Researchers are encouraged to review proposal submission guidelines and FAQs before submitting their proposal. Additional questions can be directed to wcai-research@wharton.upenn.edu.

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