Decision Science Digest: January 31, 2024

BALTIMORE, MD, January 31, 2024 –

EDITOR’S NOTE: Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles.

  • Streamlining Emergency Dispatches by Incorporating Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles: More Lives Can Be Saved in Overdose Situations (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • Women Helping Women Leads to Increased Sales: New Research Breaks Down the Importance of Female Mentors (INFORMS journal Marketing Science)
  • New Research Says Political Polarization Can Unknowingly Threaten Workplace Relationships (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • New Algorithm Tests New Retail Product Popularity Faster, Saving Time and Money (INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics)

Using Data to Save Lives: Dispatching Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles in Overdose Situations Can Bring Life-Saving Medications to People Faster

New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management attempts to save lives with the combined use of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and bystanders to decrease response times in overdose situations bringing life-savings drugs to people faster. UAVs have the potential to augment ambulances by leveraging bystander assistance, thereby reducing response times and improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS) outcomes. The study utilizes data from emergency vehicle travel times and bystander availability. The researchers constructed a set of basic functions based on queueing and geographic properties of the UAV-augmented EMS system. The algorithm determines whether EMS services or UAV will get to the victim faster, then dispatch occurs. The results show significant improvements in system performance over the benchmark policies, especially when the base locations are scattered and the incident rate is high. Link to full article.

Addressing the Gender Gap Among Mentors for Female Entrepreneurs, Impact of Sales

Governmental and nongovernmental organizations invest billions of dollars every year in providing training programs for entrepreneurs. Many of these programs involve providing entrepreneurs with mentors, but the opportunities for women are often muted. New research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science is testing whether gender matching, in which female entrepreneurs are randomly paired with a female mentor, could help address the gender gap. The results show that mentor gender has a powerful impact on female entrepreneurs. The researchers found that firm sales and profits of female entrepreneurs guided by a female mentor increased by 32%, on average. In contrast, female entrepreneurs guided by a male mentor did not significantly improve performance in comparison. Link to full article.

Taking Politics Off the Table: The Behavioral Shift in the Workplace as a Result of Political Polarization

Talking politics is a risky business, especially in the workplace. Literature shows that one’s political discussions can alter their views of co-workers and leaders, perpetuating a culture of disagreement. New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science examines various behavioral, belief and norm-based layers of (non)strategic decision-making that are plausibly affected by political polarization. The researchers conducted studies in the context of former President Donald Trump, comprising 15 well-powered behavioral experiments and a diverse set of more than 8,600 participants. The results show that in-group-love occurs in the perceptional domain (how close one feels toward others), whereas out-group-hate occurs in the behavioral domain (how one helps/harms/cooperates with others). This infers that intergroup conflict can be attributed to low expectations regarding cooperativeness of the opposing faction, rather than one’s actual unwillingness to cooperate. The research also tests whether behavioral interventions can reduce the detrimental impact of polarization. The results show that the tested interventions improve pro-sociality but are ineffective in closing the polarization gap.  Link to full article.

A New Method to Calculate Apparel Popularity and Plan for the Rush, Faster!

A new method is poised to help retailers estimate the popularity of a new product rollout faster – streamlining production orders and costs. This information is crucial for optimizing product management strategies and making decisions regarding inventory planning, pricing and marketing. Many apparel companies rely on rule-based methods conducted by experienced sales managers, which consume significant time and energy from managers and often result in delayed information and low prediction accuracy. Research in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics identifies a new ranking-based method to identify the product popularity that predicts regional and national rankings of products based on sales data at an early stage of the sales season. This method enables companies to efficiently identify popular products within two to four weeks. The method was tested on actual orders from a fashion company in 2021; the results were a notable 5.9% increase in sales volume. Link to full article.




As the largest professional association for the data and decision sciences, INFORMS members leverage mathematics and scientific methodologies to help organizations and governments at all levels make better, data-driven decisions. With more than 12,000 professional and student members from around the world, INFORMS members work to transform data into information, and information into insights that save lives, save money and solve problems.



Ashley Smith


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Decision Science Digest: January 31, 2024

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Ashley Smith
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Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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