An Application of Markov Decision Processes to the Seat Inventory Control Problem

  • Christiane Barz
  • Karl-Heinz Waldmann


Airlines typically divide a pool of identical seats into several booking classes that represent e.g. different discount levels with differentiated sale conditions and restrictions. Assuming perfect market segmentation, mixing discount and higher-fare passengers in the same aircraft compartment offers the airline the potential of gaining revenue from seats that would otherwise fly empty. If too many seats are sold at a discount price, however, the airline company would loose full-fare passengers. If too many seats are protected for higher-fare demand, the flight would depart with vacant seats. Seat inventory control deals with the optimal allocation of capacity to these different classes of demand, forming a substantial part of a revenue management system.


Markov Decision Process Revenue Management External Process Optimal Decision Rule Terminal Cost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Barz
    • 1
  • Karl-Heinz Waldmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Wirtschaftstheorie und Operations ResearchUniversität KarlsruheKarlsruhe

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