Bid Analyzer: A Method for Price Discovery in Online Reverse Auctions
Marketing Science, 2008

Online reverse auctions generate real-time bidding data that could be used via appropriate statistical estimation to assist the corporate buyer’s procurement decision. To this end, Professor Prasad Naik and co-author Sandy Jap from Emory University develop a method, called BidAnalyzer, which estimates dynamic bidding models and selects the most appropriate of them.

Specifically, they enable model estimation by addressing the problem of partial observability; i.e., only one of N suppliers’ bids is realized, and the other (N − 1) bids remain unobserved. To address partial observability, BidAnalyzer estimates the latent price distributions of bidders by applying the Kalman filtering theory.

In addition, BidAnalyzer conducts model selection by applying multiple information criteria. Using empirical data from an automotive parts auction, the authors illustrate the application of BidAnalyzer by estimating several dynamic bidding models to obtain empirical insights, retaining a model for forecasting, and assessing its predictive performance in out-of sample.