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A Serious Game for Eliciting Tacit Strategies for Dynamic Table Assignment in a Restaurant

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A presentation given at ISAGA 2016

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A Serious Game for Eliciting Tacit Strategies for Dynamic Table Assignment in a Restaurant

  1. 1. A Serious Game for Eliciting Tacit Strategies for Dynamic Table Assignment in a Restaurant Hajime Mizuyama, Ayano Yoshida, Tomomi Nonaka Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan 28/Sep/2016 @ Melbourne, Australia Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 1 / 27
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 2 / 27
  3. 3. Research Background and Objective Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 3 / 27
  4. 4. Research Background and Objective Research Background In a restaurant, customers often need to wait until they can be seated at a table, and this waiting time can lower their satisfaction level. The waiting time is affected by: Amount of resources, i.e. seats and tables Configurations of the seats and tables How the tables are allocated to customers on the fly → Dynamic table assignment task Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 4 / 27
  5. 5. Research Background and Objective Research Objective Table assignment task is usually not automated, and handled by an individual due to the task’s dynamic as well as subjective aspects. Accordingly, the task’s performance depends largely on who is in charge. The objective of this research is to provide a means for: Eliciting effective tacit strategies from those who are good at performing the task Experientially learn the strategies → A serious game Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 5 / 27
  6. 6. Description of Table Assignment Problem Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 6 / 27
  7. 7. Description of Table Assignment Problem Some Notations and Assumptions There are N tables Tn (n = 1, . . . , N), and whose capacity is Pn. Some tables can be combined into a unit, and whose capacity is equivalent to the sum of the composing tables’ capacities. The table configurations are expressed by a graph G = (V, E), where V = {T1, T2, . . . , TN} and any edge in E represents that the pair of tables connected by the edge can be combined. There are M customer groups Cm (m = 1, . . . , M) of size Sm. Each customer group Cm should be assigned a table or a combined unit whose capacity is equivalent to or greater than Sm. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 7 / 27
  8. 8. Description of Table Assignment Problem Basic Problem Structure Decision variables: xmn (m = 1, . . . , M; n = 1, . . . , N) A variable whose value is 1 if table Tn is assigned to customer group Cm, and 0 otherwise Constraints: M m=1 xnm ≤ 1 (n = 1, . . . , N) (Vm, E|Vm) = a connected subgraph of G Vm = {Tn|xnm = 1} (m = 1, . . . , M) Tn∈Vn Pn ≥ Sm (m = 1, . . . , M) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 8 / 27
  9. 9. Description of Table Assignment Problem Dynamic Aspect of the Problem Customer groups may arrive at the restaurant without reservations. Each customer group assigned to certain tables will at some time finish the meal and leave the restaurant. Some customer groups may leave the queue without being assigned to tables due to, for instance, a long waiting time. → The table assignment problem should be handled in a dynamic manner, where the assignment should be kept updated according to the changing conditions. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 9 / 27
  10. 10. Description of Table Assignment Problem Subjective Aspect of the Problem The level of dissatisfaction of customers may depend not only on the length of their wait time but also that of other customers as well as how they are treated while waiting. It may also depend on which table they are assigned to, etc. Further, as this is subjective, how those factors affect the level of dissatisfaction will differ among individual customers. → It is difficult to define a formal objective function, and the task’s performance should be evaluated in the field through the interpretation of customer behavior. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 10 / 27
  11. 11. Development of a Serious Game Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 11 / 27
  12. 12. Development of a Serious Game Outline of Single Player Simulation Game Customers randomly arrive at the restaurant in groups of different sizes, and wait in a room to be seated. The player can at any time assign a set of tables to any of the customer groups, if all the tables are vacant and combinable. When the player successfully assigns tables to a customer group, a certain number of points are added to the score. If the level of dissatisfaction due to waiting reaches a specified limit, a customer group will leave before being assigned to tables, and this results in a deduction of points from the score. When some conditions are satisfied, points are added to or deducted from the score according to the customers’ preference. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 12 / 27
  13. 13. Development of a Serious Game Table Configurations Capacities of tables and their combinability Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 13 / 27
  14. 14. Development of a Serious Game Game Screens Waiting room Dining room Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 14 / 27
  15. 15. Application Experiments Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 15 / 27
  16. 16. Application Experiments Case1: Experienced and Inexperienced Players Experienced Inexperienced AverageScore 02004006008001000 Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 16 / 27
  17. 17. Application Experiments Case2: Characterization of Strategies of Players In Case2, players were instructed to play the game twice. 1st trial: according to their own strategies 2nd trial: following specified standard rules The standard rules used were a simple First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) dispatching rule with small modifications. → The scores of their 1st trials are significantly higher than those of the 2nd. → The difference between the trials are analyzed. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 17 / 27
  18. 18. Application Experiments Characteristic Variables #1 x1 : the difference between the trials (1st minus 2nd) in the number of customers assigned tables x2 : the difference between the trials in the number of groups assigned tables x3 : the difference between the trials in the average size of the groups assigned tables x4 : the difference between the trials in the number of customers who left without having a meal x5 : the difference between the trials in the number of groups who left without having a meal x6 : the difference between the trials in the average size of the groups who left without having a meal Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 18 / 27
  19. 19. Application Experiments Characteristic Variables #2 x7 : the difference between the trials in the number of times bonus points were received x8 : the difference between the trials in the number of times penalty points were deducted x9 : the difference between the trials in the average level of dissatisfaction of the customer groups x10 : the difference between the trials in the number of times players changed the sequence of customer groups from the one specified by the standard rules x11 : the difference between the trials in the number of times that players assigned bar seats to customer groups when other tables were available as well Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 19 / 27
  20. 20. Application Experiments Clustering Players into Groups 16 2 8 17 20 14 1 15 5 11 10 7 18 4 19 3 13 9 6 12 012345 Distance Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 20 / 27
  21. 21. Application Experiments Characteristics of Gourp 1 y x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 x10 x11 -2-1012 More customers led to dining room (x1, x2) More customers left (x4, x5) Lower dissatisfaction level (x9) Frequent sequence changes (x10) Score improved only a little (y) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 21 / 27
  22. 22. Application Experiments Characteristics of Gourp 2 y x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 x10 x11 -2-1012 More customers led to dining room (x1, x2) Small groups prioritized (x3) Not increasing customers left (x4, x5) Lower dissatisfaction level (x9) Infrequent sequence changes (x10) Tables rather than bar seats (x11) Best performance (y) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 22 / 27
  23. 23. Application Experiments Characteristics of Gourp 3 y x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 x10 x11 -2-1012 Fewer customers led to dining room (x1) Smaller groups prioritized (x3) Larger groups left (x6) Slightly higher dissatisfaction level (x9) Bar seats rather than tables (x11) Worst performance (y) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 23 / 27
  24. 24. Application Experiments Characteristics of Gourp 4 y x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 x10 x11 -2-1012 More customers led to dining room (x1) Larger groups prioritized (x3) Fewer customers left (x4) Quite high dissatisfaction level (x9) Infrequent sequence changes (x10) Moderate performance (y) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 24 / 27
  25. 25. Application Experiments Characteristics of Gourp 5 y x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 x10 x11 -2-1012 Fewer customers led to dining room (x1) Larger groups prioritized (x3) Fewer customers left (x4) Fewest bonus points (x7) Bar seats rather than tables (x11) Score improved only a little (y) Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 25 / 27
  26. 26. Conclusions Table of Contents 1 Research Background and Objective 2 Description of Table Assignment Problem 3 Development of a Serious Game 4 Application Experiments 5 Conclusions Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 26 / 27
  27. 27. Conclusions Conclusions A serious game approach was proposed for eliciting effective tacit strategies to handle the dynamic table assignment task. A prototype of the game was developed and laboratory experiments were conducted using the prototype. It was confirmed that the proposed game and the actual table assignment task have at least some characteristics in common. Further, the strategies taken by the players can be characterized through the data obtained by the game. Mizuyama, Yoshida, Nonaka (AGU) Serious Game for Table Assignment ISAGA 2016 27 / 27

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