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Keywords:

  • auctions;
  • pricing;
  • scheduling;
  • capacity allocation

We consider a pricing and short-term capacity allocation problem in the presence of buyers with orders for bundles of products. The supplier's objective is to maximize her net profit, computed as the difference between the revenue generated through sales of products and the production and inventory holding costs. The objective of each buyer is similarly profit maximization, where a buyer's profit is computed as the difference between the time-dependent utility of the product bundle he plans to buy, expressed in monetary terms, and the price of the bundle. We assume that bundles' utilities are buyers' private information and address the problem of allocating the facility's output. We directly consider the products that constitute the supplier's output as market goods. We study the case where the supplier follows an anonymous and linear pricing strategy, with extensions that include quantity discounts and time-dependent product and delivery prices. In this setting, the winner determination problem integrates the capacity allocation and scheduling decisions. We propose an iterative auction mechanism with non-decreasing prices to solve this complex problem, and present a computational analysis to investigate the efficiency of the proposed method under supplier's different pricing strategies. Our analysis shows that the problem with private information can be effectively solved with the proposed auction mechanism. Furthermore, the results indicate that the auction mechanism achieves more than 80% of the system's profit, and the supplier receives a higher percentage of profit especially when the ratio of demand to available capacity is high.