Predicting upgrade timing for successive product generations: An exponential-decay proportional hazard model

Xinxue Qu (First Author), Aslan Lotfi (Participant Author), Dipak C. Jain (Participant Author), Zhengrui Jiang (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


In the presence of successive product generations, most consumers are repeat buyers who may decide to purchase a future product generation even before its release. Therefore, after a new product generation enters the market, its sales often exhibit a declining pattern, which renders traditional diffusion models unsuitable for characterizing consumers’ decisions on upgrade timing. In this study, we propose an Exponential-Decay proportional hazard model (Expo-Decay model) to predict consumers’ time to product upgrade. The Expo-Decay model is parsimonious, interpretable, and performs better than do existing models. We apply the Expo-Decay model and three extensions to study consumers’ upgrade behavior for a sports video game series. Empirical results reveal that consumers’ previous adoption and usage patterns can help predict their timing to upgrades. In particular, we find that consumers who have adopted the immediate past generation and those who play games from previous generations more often tend to upgrade earlier, whereas those who specialize in a small subset of game modes tend to upgrade later. Further, we find that complex extensions to the Expo-Decay model do not lead to better prediction performance than does the baseline Expo-Decay model, whereas a time-variant extension that updates the values of covariates over time outperforms the baseline model with static data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2067-2083
Number of pages17
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Corresponding author email

Project sponsor

National Social Science Foundation of China
National Natural Science Foundation of China

Project No.



  • predictive analytics
  • product upgrade
  • proportional hazard model
  • survival analysis

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A*
  • SCIE


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