SHOPPER: A Probabilistic Model of Consumer Choice with Substitutes and Complements

Ruiz, Francisco J. R., Athey, Susan, Blei, David M. Machine Learning 

We develop SHOPPER, a sequential probabilistic model of market baskets. SHOPPER uses interpretable components to model the forces that drive how a customer chooses products; in particular, we designed SHOPPER to capture how items interact with other items. We develop an efficient posterior inference algorithm to estimate these forces from large-scale data, and we analyze a large dataset from a major chain grocery store. We are interested in answering counterfactual queries about changes in prices. We found that SHOPPER provides accurate predictions even under price interventions, and that it helps identify complementary and substitutable pairs of products.