Cambridge University

July 17, 2019, 14:00, Room GC B1 10 (click here for the map)

## The capacity of the Gaussian retail channel

How should Uber set its prices and allocate its drivers? There are two
separate types of modelling that are needed. First, we need to model
how users make choices and how their choices depend on price; this is
the field of discrete choice modelling, a staple of transport
modelling. Second, we need to model traffic flows and how capacity
should be allocated in a network; this is the field of network utility
maximization, pioneered by Frank Kelly in the context of Internet
congestion control. I will describe how these can be linked, via a
surprising application of Shannon's information theory. I will also
suggest avenues of research on how machine learning models of human
behaviour might be integrated with models of urban or economic
systems.
Pictures:
https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~djw1005/AboutMe/damon__bigsur.jpg

## Bio

*Damon Wischik is a lecturer in the Computer Science department at
Cambridge University, and a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. He
specializes in data science and machine learning. He spent five years
as chief data scientist at Urban Engines, a startup which worked on
urban analytics and behaviour nudging. Before that, he was a
researcher in probability theory, computer networking, and statistics,
in maths at Cambridge University and in computer science at University
College London.*