"AI in the Real World: Air Travel Planning"

Justin Boyan, ITA Software

Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 10:30 A.M.

Lubrano Conference Room

What goes on behind the scenes when you search for airfares on sites like Orbitz and As it turns out, a whole lot of sophisticated computer science. The combinatorics of airfare search are daunting. There are 25,000,000 practical flight combinations for a round-trip between Boston and Los Angeles with one-day travel windows. Computing the price for any one of those ways is at least NP-hard. Fares are updated five times a day, while seat availability data is updated in real-time at 100Hz. In this talk, we'll discuss how airfare pricing really works, how AI algorithms can be applied to the problem, and how those algorithms have propelled a small company to success.

Host: Amy Greenwald