Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scheduling of TV Advertisement: Theory vs Practice

I am working on a model for scheduling TV advertisements. Looking at the paper: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.37.292&rep=rep1&type=pdf this is easy to model (but difficult to solve). My model seems at least 10 times as complicated than what this academic study suggests. We needed more complexity to deal with:

  1. The number of spots to broadcast is not known in advance (depends on expected ratings of a break)
  2. There are complicated issues with spread over time
  3. There is a rather complex issue with the quality of the remaining unused space (this needs to be valued with respect to expected ratings and optimized)
  4. Different contracts have different requirements, and these requirements are not always easily modeled
  5. The model is huge (> 150K binary variables) for a monthly schedule
  6. The input data (from a database) is large and complex (this is sometimes called “data-intensive”)
  7. Numerous other things