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Qingchen Wang

Machine learning applications in operations management and digital marketing


In this dissertation, I study how machine learning can be used to solve prominent problems in operations management and digital marketing. The primary motivation is to show that the application of machine learning can solve problems in ways that existing approaches cannot. In its entirety, this dissertation is a study of four problems—two in operations management and two in digital marketing—and develops solutions to these problems via data-driven approaches by leveraging machine learning. These four problems are distinct, and are presented in the form of individual self-containing essays. Each essay is the result of collaborations with industry partners and is of academic and practical importance. In some cases, the solutions presented in this dissertation outperform existing state-of-the-art methods, and in other cases, it presents a solution when no reasonable alternatives are available. The problems are: consumer debt collection (Chapter 3), contact center staffing and scheduling (Chapter 4), digital marketing attribution (Chapter 5), and probabilistic device matching (Chapters 6 and 7). An introduction of the thesis is presented in Chapter 1 and some basic machine learning concepts are described in Chapter 2.