Analyzing Location-Based Advertising for Vehicle Service Providers Using Effective Resistances

by   Haoran Yu, et al.
Northwestern University

Vehicle service providers can display commercial ads in their vehicles based on passengers' origins and destinations to create a new revenue stream. In this work, we study a vehicle service provider who can generate different ad revenues when displaying ads on different arcs (i.e., origin-destination pairs). The provider needs to ensure the vehicle flow balance at each location, which makes it challenging to analyze the provider's vehicle assignment and pricing decisions for different arcs. For example, the provider's price for its service on an arc depends on the ad revenues on other arcs as well as on the arc in question. To tackle the problem, we show that the traffic network corresponds to an electrical network. When the effective resistance between two locations is small, there are many paths between the two locations and the provider can easily route vehicles between them. We characterize the dependence of an arc's optimal price on any other arc's ad revenue using the effective resistances between these two arcs' origins and destinations. Furthermore, we study the provider's optimal selection of advertisers when it can only display ads for a limited number of advertisers. If each advertiser has one target arc for advertising, the provider should display ads for the advertiser whose target arc has a small effective resistance. We investigate the performance of our advertiser selection strategy based on a real-world dataset.


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