Fifth Marketplace Innovation Workshop (MIW)

Stanford University, Stanford, California

Co-located with the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Conference

June 4-5, 2019

Abstract submission deadline: March 1, 2019
Workshop registration deadline: May 1, 2019 Extended to May 20, 2019

Click here for program


Itai Ashlagi, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Ramesh Johari, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Ilan Lobel, Stern School of Business, New York University
Costis Maglaras, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
Gabriel Weintraub, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University


Markets are an ancient institution for matching the supply for a good or service with its demand. Physical markets were typically slow to evolve, with simple institutions governing trade, and trading partners generally facing a daunting challenge in finding the “right” partner. The information technology revolution, however, has generated a sea of change in how markets function: now, markets are typically complex platforms, with a range of mechanisms involved in facilitating matches among participants. Recent trends point to an unprecedented level of control over the design, implementation, and operation of markets: more than ever before, we are able to engineer the platforms governing transactions among market participants. As a consequence, market operators or platforms can control a host of variables such as pricing, liquidity, visibility, information revelation, terms of trade, and transaction fees. On its part, given these variables, market participants often face complex problems when optimizing their own decisions. In the supply side such decisions may include the assortment of products to offer and their price structure, while in the demand side they may include how much to bid for different goods and what feedback to offer about past purchasing experiences. The decisions made by the platform and the market participants interact, sometimes in intricate and subtle ways, to determine market outcomes.

In this workshop we seek work that improves our understanding of these markets, both from the perspective of the market operator and the market participants. With respect to the former we are particularly interested in work that derives useful insights on how to design these markets, taking into account their operational details and engineering and technological constraints. With respect to the market participants, we seek for work that introduces novel approaches to optimize their decisions and improves our understanding of their interactions within the market. We look for a mix of approaches including modeling, theoretical, and empirical, using a wide range of tools drawn from operations management, game theory, auctions and mechanism design, optimization, stochastic modeling, revenue management, econometrics, or statistics.

The list of markets to be studied includes but it is not restricted to:

  • Online marketplaces, such as eBay, Etsy, etc.
  • Internet advertising, including sponsored search and display ad exchanges
  • Sharing economy markets, such as Uber/Lyft, AirBnb, etc.
  • Online labor markets, such as Amazon mTurk, Upwork, etc.
  • Procurement markets, such as technology-enabled government procurement
  • Health care exchanges
  • Financial exchanges

The workshop will begin on the afternoon of June 4th and continue through the evening of June 5th.

Plenary speakers

The workshop will have several invited distinguished plenary speakers from academia and industry, including:

  • Dirk Bergemann (Yale University)
  • Yash Kanoria (Columbia Business School)
  • Kevin Leyton-Brown (University of British Columbia)
  • Eva Tardos (Cornell University)
  • Adam Wierman (Caltech)
  • Catherine Williams (Xandr)
  • Fanyin Zheng (Columbia Business School)

Academia-Industry Forum

On the morning of June 5th we will hold our first Academia-Industry Forum. There will be four sessions featuring a selected group of invited speakers from academia and industry, as follows:

  1. Experimentation in online platforms, co-organized with Navin Sivanandam (Airbnb), with speakers:
    • Eytan Bakshy (Facebook)
    • Shuchi Chawla (University of Wisconsin)
    • Ruben Lobel (Airbnb)
    • Stefan Wager (Stanford)
  2. Market design for social good, co-organized with Nico Stier (Facebook), with speakers:
    • Rediet Abebe (Cornell)
    • Kira Goldner (University of Washington)
    • Irene Lo (Stanford)
    • Eric Sodomka (Facebook)
  3. Ride-sharing platforms, co-organized with Hamid Nazerzadeh (USC and Uber), with speakers:
    • Hongyao Ma (Harvard)
    • Hamid Nazerzadeh (USC and Uber)
    • Garrett van Ryzin (Cornell and Lyft)
    • Kane Sweeney (Uber)
  4. Algorithmic fairness, co-organized with Sharad Goel (Stanford), with speakers:
    • Yiling Chen (Harvard)
    • Sharad Goel (Stanford)
    • Aleksandra Korolova (USC)
    • Kristian Lum (HRDAG)

These sessions will be co-organized with leading practitioners. The goal is to stimulate research discussions and potential collaborations between academia and industry. Details forthcoming.

Auctions and Market Design Plenary Session

We are pleased to announce that the INFORMS Auctions and Market Design Section has organized a plenary session for the workshop with three distinguished speakers spanning a range of interests across auctions, market design, and the themes of the workshop. This session will be held on the afternoon of June 4th. The speakers and talk titles are:

  • Shmuel Oren (University of California, Berkeley), Efficiency Impact of Convergence Bidding in the California Electricity Market
  • David Pennock (Microsoft Research), Combinatorial Financial Options
  • Rakesh Vohra (University of Pennsylvania), A Pseudo-market for Logistics

Abstract submission

This year the Marketplace Innovation Workshop is colocated with the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing (RM&P) Conference, held on June 6-7, 2019. Abstract submission for the workshop uses the submission site for the RM&P conference site, managed via EasyChair.

The abstract submission deadline was March 1, 2019. The abstract submission is now closed.

Workshop registration

The registration deadline is May 20, 2019. Attendees can register for the workshop through the following link:

Register for the workshop

Past workshops

Programs of past years of the workshop can be found here: