Past Event

Bar Ifrach, Director of Data Science, AirBnB

March 21, 2018
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Uris 326

Bar Ifrach; Director of Data Science, AirBnB

Search, Pricing, and Marketplace Dynamics at AirBnB

In his 2016 book Who Gets What -- and Why, Nobel laureate Alvin Roth defined three general principles for successful marketplace: thickness, congestion-free, and safe and simple. In this talk, we will illustrate these principles using unique examples from Airbnb's two-sided marketplace and tie them back to Airbnb's success. In addition, we will discuss challenges and solutions in measuring the efficacy of marketplace design changes in light of these principles.

Bar Ifrach is a Director of Data Science at Airbnb, leading a group of over 60 data scientists who cover Airbnb's core business unit -- Homes -- across analytics, inference, and algorithms. In addition, Bar is a member of the Homes business' leadership team that designs strategy and oversees execution across Airbnb's main product. Bar begun his academic studies at Tel Aviv University, where he completed a BA in economics in 2007. Following that, Bar completed a PhD in operations research and economics from Columbia Business School in 2012, researching learning and pricing in online marketplaces and game theory. After a postdoc at Stanford University, Bar joined Airbnb as a data scientist in the marketplace team in 2013, where he focused on optimizing matching through personalized search and marketplace design. In 2014 Bar founded Airbnb's pricing team that currently provides prices suggestions to millions of hosts. In 2015 and 2016 Bar managed Airbnb's Marketplace data science team, fueling Airbnb's rapid growth through multiple efforts, including scaling Instant Booking to the majority of the business.