Recently proposed methods for product-line selection use the total utilities of candidate items to construct product lines maximizing seller's return or buyers' welfare. For conjoint (hybrid conjoint) data, enumerating the utilites of candidate items can be computationally infeasible if the number of attributes and attribute levels is large and most multi-attribute alternatives are feasible. For such problems, constructing product lines from part-worths data is preferable. We propose such methods, extending Kohli and Krishnamurti's (1987) dynamic-programming heuristic for selecting a single item maximizing share to structure product lines maximizing share, seller's return or buyers' (utilitarian) welfare. The computational performance of the heuristics is and their approximation of product-line solutions is evaluated using simulated data. Across problem instances, the dynamic-programming heuristics identify solutions that are no worse, in terms of approximating the optimal solution, to the solutions of heuristics for the current two-step approaches to product-line design. An application using hybrid-conjoint data for a consumer-durable product is described.
36, (December 01, 1990):