Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Business and Economics


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Devanathan Sudharshan

Second Advisor

Dr. Clyde Holsapple


This dissertation examines cross-category effects in consumer purchases from the big data and analytics perspectives. It uses data from Nielsen Consumer Panel and Scanner databases for its investigations. With big data analytics it becomes possible to examine the cross effects of many product categories on each other. The number of categories whose cross effects are studied is called category scale or just scale in this dissertation. The larger the category scale the higher the number of categories whose cross effects are studied. This dissertation extends research on models of cross effects by (1) examining the performance of MVP model across category scale; (2) customizing artificial neural network (ANN) techniques for large-scale cross effect analysis; (3) examining the performance of ANN across scale; and (4) developing a conceptual model of spending habits as a source of cross effect heterogeneity. The results provide researchers and managers new knowledge about using the two techniques in large category scale settings The computational capabilities required by MVP models grow exponentially with scale and thus are more significantly limited by computational capabilities than are ANN models. In our experiments, for scales 4, 8, 16 and 32, using Nielsen data, MVP models could not be estimated using baskets with 16 and more categories. We attempted to and could calibrate ANN models, on the other hand, for both scales 16 and 32. Surprisingly, the predictive results of ANN models exhibit an inverted U relationship with scale. As an ancillary result we provide a method for determining the existence and extent of non-linear own and cross category effects on likelihood of purchase of a category using ANN models. Besides our empirical studies, we draw on the mental budgeting model and impulsive spending literature, to provide a conceptualization of consumer spending habits as a source of heterogeneity in cross effect context. Finally, after a discussion of conclusions and limitations, the dissertation concludes with a discussion of open questions for future research.