Dynamic Pricing on E-commerce Platform with Deep Reinforcement Learning

Jiaxi Liu, Yidong Zhang, Xiaoqing Wang, Yuming Deng, Xingyu Wu, Miaolan Xie

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: In this paper we develop an approach based on deep reinforcement learning (DRL) to address dynamic pricing problem on E-commerce platform. We models real-world E-commerce dynamic pricing problem as Markov Decision Process. Environment state are defined with four groups of different business data. We make several main improvements on the state-of-the-art DRL-based dynamic pricing approaches: 1. We first extend the application of dynamic pricing to a continuous pricing action space. 2. We solve the unknown demand function problem by designing different reward functions. 3. The cold-start problem is addressed by introducing pre-training and evaluation using the historical sales data. Field experiments are designed and conducted on real-world E-commerce platform, pricing thousands of SKUs of products lasting for months. The experiment results shows that, on E-commerce platform, the difference of the revenue conversion rates (DRCR) is a more suitable reward function than the revenue only, which is different from the conclusion from previous researches. Meanwhile, the proposed continuous action model performs better than the discrete one.
  • Keywords: reinforcement learning, dynamic pricing, e-commerce, revenue management, field experiment
  • TL;DR: This paper describes a methodology for pre-training, evaluating and online dynamic pricing on E-commerce platform using deep reinforcement learning.
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