Modeling product co-consideration relations: A comparative study of two network models

Zhenghui Sha, Mingxian Wang, Yun Huang, Noshir Contractor, Yan Fu, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Customers often compare and evaluate alternative products before making purchase decisions. Understanding customer preference is an important step for choice modeling in engineering design. This study presents a network approach to model co-consideration relations between products in supporting engineering design decisions. The network approach of co-consideration represents each product as a node, and a link between two nodes implies the two products are co-considered by customers. We compare two network-based modeling techniques - the multiple regression quadratic assignment procedure (MRQAP) and the exponential random graph model (ERGM). Using vehicle purchase data in the 2013 China market, we evaluate the goodness-of-fit of the two techniques at both network level and link level. The analysis indicates that the ERGM outperforms the MRQAP model. Specifically, the ERGM is able to characterize the interdependence of product co-considerations through various network configurations and therefore has a better fit of the data. The insights of co-consideration models help to understand market segmentation and product competitions as well as other types of product associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Issue numberDS87-6
StatePublished - 2017
Event21st International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2017 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 21 2017Aug 25 2017


  • Complex networks
  • Customer preference
  • Design methods
  • Market implications
  • User centred design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling product co-consideration relations: A comparative study of two network models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this