We are pleased to present the proceedings of the eleventh Sawtooth Software Conference, held in San Diego, CA, October 6-8, 2004. Our hotel on Shelter Island provided excellent views of the water, a fishing pier, and the busy boat traffic.
The focus of the conference was quantitative methods in marketing research. We were also treated to a thought-provoking paper on ethics. The authors were charged to deliver presentations of value to both the most and least sophisticated members of the audience. We were exposed to a variety of topics, including discrete choice, conjoint analysis, MaxDiff scaling, latent class methods, hierarchical Bayes, and IRT (Item Response Theory). The authors represented a mix of leading academics and practitioners, with the practitioners more heavily represented, as is typical for our conference.
The authors (and a few invited speakers) played the role of discussant to another paper presented at the conference. Discussants spoke for up to five minutes to express contrasting or complementary views. Some discussants have prepared written versions of their comments for this volume.
The papers and discussant comments are in the words of the authors, and very little copy editing was performed. We are grateful to these authors for continuing to make this conference a valuable event, and advancing our collective knowledge in this exciting field.