The 2020 Dynamic Pricing Competition winners are ….

Ruben van de Geer/
07 October, 2020

As one of the organizers of the Dynamic Pricing Competition, in collaboration with the VU University of Amsterdam, I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 edition of this exciting international algorithm competition.

We have some interesting winners this year, to say the least, as they consider buying LEGO a good investment, feel that nightly simulations contribute to finding the best dynamic pricing algorithm, and combine a love for gardening with a passion for ice hockey.

What is the Dynamic Pricing Competition

The Dynamic Pricing Competition is a competition in designing the best dynamic pricing algorithms. It's sponsored and organized by the VU University of Amsterdam, GoDataDriven, and Haensel AMS and brings together academia and industry to compete in algorithms. And for the 2020 edition, the winners are announced!

Winning the Dynamic Scenario is No Joke

Fulin Xie, Ph.D., a Data Scientist at Microlise in the UK who grew up in Wuhan, China, took the honors for the Dynamic scenario. His submission also ranked an impressive second-place finish in the Duopoly category. “When I first told my wife the news, she thought it was a joke,” Fulin shared, “but then she was really happy—we’re planning to use the cash award to buy our children a LEGO set!” And asked how he liked to spend his time when he’s not immersed in algorithms, Fulin told us: “I like to garden. Sometimes I’d rather get my hands dirty in the soil than in the code!”

Neck-and-Neck Running in the Oligopoly Category

In the Oligopoly category, Boris Kuznetsov, a Research Assistant at EPFL in Switzerland collaborated with his friend Oganes Manasian, an IBM Research Intern in Ireland, to claim the prize after an early neck-and-neck running with the eventual second-place participant. After growing up in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Boris now lives in Lausanne while pursuing his master’s degree in mathematics and finance at EPFL. “I was motivated to try my hand at the Dynamic Pricing Competition primarily to gain dynamic programming practice. The nightly simulations we did during the competition were very fruitful for Oganes and me, in terms of assessing and adjusting different algorithms,” explains Boris.

Back-to-Back Win in Duopoly

Finally, Kyle Maclean, an Assistant Professor at The Ivey Business School in Canada, won the Duopoly race for his second year in a row. Working with an assist from Associate Professor Fredrik Odegaard, Kyle held onto his early lead throughout most of the competition. Originally from Texas, he’s also lived in New York and England, before making the move to Western University in Ontario. “Living here, I’ve discovered I have a passion for hockey,” he says, “and I’ve turned into a huge fan of the Detroit Red Wings NHL team.” And any plans for how he’ll spend his prize money? “Yes, definitely!” he laughs. “I’m getting an AeroGarden for my kitchen—it’s a hydroponic growing system, so that I can have fresh herbs on demand!”

What's Next for Dynamic Pricing?

Congrats to our winners, and to everyone who participated—you are all indeed rocket scientists! We’ll look forward to seeing everyone back, along with a new field of competitors, for the Dynamic Pricing Competition 2021!

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