Mookerjee, Vijay S.

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Vijay Mookerjee holds the Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair in Information Systems. His research interests include social networks, managerial issues in information security, optimal software development methodologies, storage and cache management, content delivery systems, and the economic design of expert systems and machine learning systems.

Learn more about Dr. Mookerjee on his home, Endowed Professorships and Chairs, Expert at a Glance, and Research Explorer pages.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Shaping the Values of a Milk Cooperative: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-05-22) Mu, L.; Dawande, Milind; Mookerjee, Vijay; 0000-0001-6956-0856 (Dawande, MW); Dawande, Milind; Mookerjee, Vijay
    Dairy cooperatives bestow upon farmers the virtues of controlling a large supply quantity of a relatively scarce product, that is, milk (e.g., higher bargaining power, fixed cost sharing, etc.). However, the cooperative structure also encourages individual farmers to free-ride (i.e., provide low-quality milk in the hope that other farmers provide good-quality milk). The question arises: How can the benefits of a cooperative be retained, while eliminating free-riding, especially when individual inspection costs are high? We examine this question from the perspective of a social planner, who wishes to achieve the simultaneous goals of quantity efficiency, quality efficiency, and minimal testing. The basic challenge in this quest is that of countering an endogenous value function associated with a coalition of farmers. This value function emerges from the joint interaction of three forces: (i) an individual farmer’s payment-maximizing behavior, (ii) the testing policies employed by the cooperative, and (iii) the manner in which the revenue earned by a coalition is shared among the farmers (allocation rule). A novel allocation rule—that exploits individual incentives to guide the collective behavior of the farmers and thereby the value–function endogeneity—is proposed that achieves the planner’s goals in the presence of these forces. A modification to this allocation rule is made to address the goals of practicality, e.g., the presence of low-income farmers and unintended variation in the quality of a farmer’s output. We examine our interventions in the light of sample data from actual dairy cooperatives to demonstrate the viability of our proposals. ©2019 Production and Operations Management Society
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    Role Refinement in Access Control: Model and Analysis
    (Informs Inst. for Operations Res. and the Management Sciences) Xia, H.; Dawande, Milind W.; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; 0000 0001 1561 8354 (Dawande, MW); 2007039673 (Dawande, MW); 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    Access control mechanisms in software systems administer user privileges by granting users permission to perform certain operations while denying unauthorized access to others. Such mechanisms are essential to ensure that important business functions in an organization are conducted securely and smoothly. Currently, the dominant access control approach in most major software systems is role-based access control. In this approach, permissions are first assigned to roles, and users acquire permissions by becoming members of certain roles. However, given the dynamic nature of organizations, a fixed set of roles usually cannot meet the demands that users (existing or new) have to conduct business. The typical response to this problem is to myopically create new roles to meet immediate demand that cannot be satisfied by an existing set of roles. This ad hoc creation of roles invariably leads to a proliferation in the number of roles with the accompanying administrative overhead. Based on discussions with practitioners, we propose a role refinement scheme that reconstructs a system of roles to reduce the cost of role management. We first show that the role-refinement problem is strongly NP-hard and then provide two polynomial-time approximation algorithms (a greedy algorithm and a randomized rounding algorithm) and establish their performance guarantees. Finally, numerical experiments-based on a real data set from a firm's enterprise resource planning system-are conducted to demonstrate the applicability and performance of our refinement scheme.
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    Selling vs. Profiling: Optimizing the Offer Set in Web-Based Personalization
    (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) Johar, M.; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; Sarkar, Sumit; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    We study the problem of optimally choosing the composition of the offer set for firms engaging in web-based personalization. A firm can offer items or links that are targeted for immediate sales based on what is already known about a customer's profile. Alternatively, the firm can offer items directed at learning a customer's preferences. This, in turn, can help the firm make improved recommendations for the remainder of the engagement period with the customer. An important decision problem faced by a profit maximizing firm is what proportion of the offer set should be targeted toward immediate sales and what proportion toward learning the customer's profile. We study the problem as an optimal control model, and characterize the solution. Our findings can help firms decide how to vary the size and composition of the offer set during the course of a customer's engagement period with the firm. The benefits of the proposed approach are illustrated for different patterns of engagement, including the length of the engagement period, uncertainty in the length of the period, and the frequency of the customer's visits to the firm. We also study the scenario where the firm optimizes the size of the offer set during the planning horizon. One of the most important insights of this study is that frequent visits to the firm's website are extremely important for an e-tailing firm even though the customer may not always buy products during these visits.
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    Optimal Software Reuse in Incremental Software Development: A Transfer Pricing Approach
    (INFORMS) Ceran, Yasin; Dawande, Milind; Liu, Dengpan; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    This study develops optimal transfer pricing schemes that manage software reuse in incremental software development, namely, a development regime wherein users begin utilizing parts of the system that are released to them even before the system is entirely completed. In this setting, conflicts can arise between developers and users from divergent interests concerning the release of functionalities in the project. The release of functionalities is influenced by reuse, i.e., the effort spent by the development team to write code that can be reused within the same project or in future projects. For example, the development team may choose to spend extra effort to make certain portions of the system reusable because doing so could reduce the effort needed to develop the entire system. However, the additional effort spent on reuse could delay the release of certain critical functionality, making such a strategy suboptimal for the users. Thus, optimal reuse decisions for developers and users could be different. In addition, from the firm's perspective, reuse decisions must not only balance the objectives of developers and users for the current project, but reuse effort may be spent to benefit future projects. Our study also highlights the fact that reuse may not always be beneficial for the firm. To this end, we consider different instances of the user-developer conflict and provide transfer pricing schemes that operate under information asymmetry and achieve two key properties: firm-level optimality and truth revelation.
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    To Show or Not Show: Using User Profiling to Manage Internet Advertisement Campaigns at Chitika
    Mookerjee, Radha Vijay; Kumar, Subodha; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    We study the problem of an Internet advertising firm that wishes to maximize advertisement (ad) revenue, subject to click-through rate restrictions imposed by the publisher who controls the website on which the ads are displayed. The problem is directly motivated by Chitika, an Internet advertising firm that operates in the Boston area. Chitika contracts with publishers to place relevant ads over a specified period, usually one month, on publisher websites. We develop a predictive model of a visitor clicking on a given ad. Using this prediction of the probability of a click, we develop a decision model that uses a varying threshold to decide whether or not to show an ad to the visitor. We vary the threshold depending on (1) the cumulative number of times an ad has been shown and (2) the cumulative number of clicks on the ad. The decision model's objective is to maximize the advertising firm's revenue subject to a click-through rate constraint. The implemented models work in real time in Chitika's advertising network. We also discuss the implementation challenges and business impact.
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    Structural Search and Optimization in Social Networks
    Dawande, Milind W.; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; Sriskandarajah, Chelliah; Zhu, Yunxia; 0000 0000 9095 8730 (Sriskandarajah, C); 2010125665 (Sriskandarajah, C); 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    The explosive growth in the variety and size of social networks has focused attention on searching these networks for useful structures. Like the Internet or the telephone network, the ability to efficiently search large social networks will play an important role in the extent of their use by individuals and organizations alike. However, unlike these domains, search on social networks is likely to involve measures that require a set of individuals to collectively satisfy some skill requirement or be tightly related to each other via some underlying social property of interest. The aim of this paper is to highlight-and demonstrate via specific examples-the need for algorithmic results for some fundamental set-based notions on which search in social networks is expected to be prevalent. To this end, we argue that the concepts of an influential set and a central set that highlight, respectively, the specific role and the specific location of a set are likely to be useful in practice. We formulate two specific search problems: the elite group problem (EGP) and the portal problem (PP), that represent these two concepts and provide a variety of algorithmic results. We first demonstrate the relevance of EGP and PP across a variety of social networks reported in the literature. For simple networks (e.g., structured trees and bipartite graphs, cycles, paths), we show that an optimal solution to both EGP and PP is easy to obtain. Next, we show that EGP is polynomially solvable on a general graph, whereas PP is strongly NP-hard. Motivated by practical considerations, we also discuss (i) a size-constrained variant of EGP together with its penalty-based relaxation and (ii) the solution of PP on balanced and full d-trees and general trees. © 2012 INFORMS.
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    Content Provision Strategies in the Presence of Content Piracy
    Johar, M.; Kumar, Nanda; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS); 307323512 (Kumar, N)
    We consider a publisher that earns advertising revenue while providing content to serve a heterogeneous population of consumers. The consumers derive benefit from consuming content but suffer from delivery delays. A publisher's content provision strategy comprises two decisions: (a) the content quality (affecting consumption benefit) and (b) the content distribution delay (affecting consumption cost). The focus here is on how a publisher should choose the content provision strategy in the presence of a content pirate such as a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Our study sheds light on how a publisher could leverage a pirate's presence to increase profits, even though the pirate essentially encroaches on the demand for the publisher's content. We find that a publisher should sometimes decrease the delivery speed but increase quality in the presence of a pirate (a quality focused strategy). At other times, a distribution focused strategy is better; namely, increase delivery speed, but lower quality. In most cases, however, we show that the publisher should improve at least one dimension of content provision (quality or delay) in the presence of a pirate. © 2012 INFORMS.
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    Are New IT-Enabled Investment Opportunities Diminishing for Firms?
    Dos Santos, B. L.; Zheng, Zhiqiang (Eric); Mookerjee, Vijay S.; Chen, Hongyu; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    Today, few firms could survive for very long without their computer systems. IT has permeated every corner of firms. Firms have reached the current state in their use of IT because IT has provided myriad opportunities for firms to improve performance and, firms have availed themselves of these opportunities. Some have argued, however, that the opportunities for firms to improve their performance through new uses of IT have been declining. Are the opportunities to use IT to improve firm performance diminishing? We sought to answer this question. In this study, we develop a theory and explain the logic behind our empirical analysis; an analysis that employs a different type of event study. Using the volatility of firms' stock prices to news signaling a change in economic conditions, we compare the stock price behavior of firms in the IT industry to firms in the utility and transportation and freight industries. Our analysis of the IT industry as a whole indicates that the opportunities for firms to use IT to improve their performance are not diminishing. However, there are sectors within the IT industry that no longer provide value-enhancing opportunities for firms. We also find that IT products that provided opportunities for firms to create value at one point in time, later become necessities for staying in business. Our results support the key assumption in our work. © 2012 INFORMS.
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    Advertising Strategies in Electronic Retailing: A Differential Games Approach
    Liu, Dengpan; Kumar, Subodha; Mookerjee, Vijay S.; 90649574‏ (Mookerjee, VS)
    We consider advertising problems under an information technology (IT) capacity constraint encountered by electronic retailers in a duopolistic setting. There is a considerable amount of literature on advertising games between firms, yet introducing an IT capacity constraint fundamentally changes this problem. In the presence of information processing constraints, although advertising may still cause a customer to switch, it may not result in a sale, i.e., the customer may be lost by both firms. This situation could occur when customers have a limited tolerance for processing delays and leave the website of a firm because of slow response. In such situations, attracting more traffic to a firm's site (by increasing advertising expenditure) may not generate enough additional revenue to warrant this expenditure. We use a differential game formulation to obtain closed-form solutions for the advertising effort over time in the presence of IT capacity constraints. Based on these solutions, we present several useful managerial insights.

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