Tetris is no longer just a game, but an algorithm, which ensures maximum room occupancy

January 14, 2021

To achieve full occupancy, hotels used to rely exclusively on experience, concentration and human abilities. Then came online booking, which made the reservation collection process faster, but did not solve the risk of turning down long stays because of rooms previously booked for short stays.

To avoid overbooking (accepting more reservations than there is room for) in some cases online sales are blocked before hotels are completely booked. The solution that the University of Trento has just discovered could change the life of hotels by increasing the number of occupied rooms and, therefore, in the revenue of hotel owners.

For an average Italian hotel (50 rooms), an annual increase in turnover of between 5 and 10% is estimated.

The most compact way to combine supply and demand was found by the RoomTetris algorithm, which takes its name from the computer game that inspired it, Tetris.

The software was developed by the Lion Laboratory (Learning and Intelligent OptimizatioN) of the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Trento. The research team, led by Roberto Battiti and Mauro Brunato, collaborated with Filippo Battiti's local start-up Ciaomanager Srl which provided first-hand knowledge of everyday hotel management.

After the patent application, the procedure has also been the subject of an article in the international "Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology" (RoomTetris: an optimal procedure for committing rooms to reservations in hotels; Vol. 11 No. 4, 2020 pp. 589-602; DOI 10.1108/JHTT-08-2019-0108).

"It is a new and revolutionary method to manage the accommodation of guests in hotel rooms" comments Roberto Battiti. "We made the unexpected and surprising discovery of an excellent algorithm for assigning guests to rooms: there is no better way to do it and there is a mathematical theorem to prove it."

In short, RoomTetris finds the best solution, the ideal combination between demand and supply, optimizing room occupancy. A tile-matching game that no human mind, no matter how experienced and skilled, could do better, with the seriousness and scientific rigor of a mathematical demonstration. Battiti is proud as a researcher but also satisfied for giving some hope to a sector that, more than others, has been heavily hit by the pandemic's consequences.

"The intuition of the RoomTetris algorithm - he says - derives from the Tetris game, which is well-known among scientists and video game enthusiasts around the world. Coloured tiles of different shapes fall in the playing field and players must place them so that they do not build up, therefore they have to fit the blocks in the best way possible in the free cells".

He continues: "If the average profit of a hotel is 10-15% of the turnover, the increased room availability generated by the algorithm in the high season can increase it by a further 5-10% (depending on the average occupancy rate and the duration of the stay). With little effort (which is actually made by powerful computers in the cloud) there are certainly cases where the profitability can even double. I bet that within a few years almost all hotels will use our optimal algorithm, and that many hotel management habits will therefore change radically".

In practice, with RoomTetris hotels will no longer allocate rooms at the time of booking, but when guests arrive at the hotel, providing the optimal solution for a higher occupancy rate and increased profitability. Tests to measure the improvements in the occupancy rate compared to the traditional allocation of rooms were carried out through a hotel simulator in different areas, and including real hotels throughout Italy, from Trentino to Sicily, from Sardinia to Puglia.

"The success of RoomTetris, which is the first optimal room allocation algorithm for the hotel industry, suggests that the room allocation process can be managed by this algorithm at check-in, ensuring the best possible performance, at global level", concludes Battiti.

Università di Trento

Related Algorithm Articles from Brightsurf:

CCNY & partners in quantum algorithm breakthrough
Researchers led by City College of New York physicist Pouyan Ghaemi report the development of a quantum algorithm with the potential to study a class of many-electron quantums system using quantum computers.

Machine learning algorithm could provide Soldiers feedback
A new machine learning algorithm, developed with Army funding, can isolate patterns in brain signals that relate to a specific behavior and then decode it, potentially providing Soldiers with behavioral-based feedback.

New algorithm predicts likelihood of acute kidney injury
In a recent study, a new algorithm outperformed the standard method for predicting which hospitalized patients will develop acute kidney injury.

New algorithm could unleash the power of quantum computers
A new algorithm that fast forwards simulations could bring greater use ability to current and near-term quantum computers, opening the way for applications to run past strict time limits that hamper many quantum calculations.

QUT algorithm could quash Twitter abuse of women
Online abuse targeting women, including threats of harm or sexual violence, has proliferated across all social media platforms but QUT researchers have developed a sophisticated statistical model to identify misogynistic content and help drum it out of the Twittersphere.

New learning algorithm should significantly expand the possible applications of AI
The e-prop learning method developed at Graz University of Technology forms the basis for drastically more energy-efficient hardware implementations of Artificial Intelligence.

Algorithm predicts risk for PTSD after traumatic injury
With high precision, a new algorithm predicts which patients treated for traumatic injuries in the emergency department will later develop posttraumatic stress disorder.

New algorithm uses artificial intelligence to help manage type 1 diabetes
Researchers and physicians at Oregon Health & Science University have designed a method to help people with type 1 diabetes better manage their glucose levels.

A new algorithm predicts the difficulty in fighting fire
The tool completes previous studies with new variables and could improve the ability to respond to forest fires.

New algorithm predicts optimal materials among all possible compounds
Skoltech researchers have offered a solution to the problem of searching for materials with required properties among all possible combinations of chemical elements.

Read More: Algorithm News and Algorithm Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.