Rapid advancements in internet technology have made it possible to develop electronic commerce in general and internet shopping in particular. Easy access to a vast number of existing internet stores enables buyers to customize their shopping processes to minimize the total purchase cost. This paper aims to investigate a novel internet shopping problem, which consists of the diversification of a given list of products to buy among many stores and to use discounts offered by the stores.
The adequate discrete optimization problem referred to as internet shopping optimization problem with price sensitivity discounts (ISOPwD) is investigated, which turned out to be strongly nondeterministic polynomial (NS)-hard. Two heuristic solution algorithms have been derived using the tabu search (TS) and the simulated annealing (SA) metaheuristics for having a solution in a reasonable time. The algorithms have been assessed via computational experiments, and they have been compared with another algorithm known from the literature that has been elaborated for a simpler version of ISOPwD.
The conducted evaluation has shown the advantage of both heuristic algorithms on the algorithm known from the literature. Moreover, the TS-based algorithm outperformed the other one in terms of the total cost incurred by customers and the computational time.
The special primary piecewise linear discounting function is only taken into account. Other possible discounts connected, for example, with bundles of products and (or) coupons are not considered.
The elaborated algorithms can be recommended for internet shopping providers who want to introduce the ability to search a cost-optimized set of products in their databases or for applications that combine offers from various online retailers, e.g. internet price comparison services and auction sites.
The novelty of considered ISOPwD, in comparison with similar problems discussed in the literature, deals with an arbitrary number of purchased products, the possibility to buy an identical product in different stores and the consideration of the weight, the amount and the availability of goods as parameters of ISOPwD.
Józefczyk, J. and Ławrynowicz, M. (2018), "Heuristic algorithms for the Internet shopping optimization problem with price sensitivity discounts", Kybernetes, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 831-852. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-07-2017-0264Download as .RIS
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