Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Ronaldo Menezes

Second Advisor

Walter P. Bond

Third Advisor

Muzaffar A. Shaikh

Fourth Advisor

William Shoaff


In today's supermarket multi-billion dollar industry, impulse shopping accounts for 2 out of 3 purchases. The phenomenon is so prominent that some consider high levels of it to be a disorder in the same group as Pyromania (the impulse to burn things) and Kleptomania (the impulse to steal). Despite the current situation, most retail stores attempt to benefit from the fact that people are impulsive in nature as a way to maximize their profits. In order to improve on current levels of sales, retail stores and supermarkets need to look at out-of-the-box to solutions that may, at first, not appear useful. One such approach is the study of levels of self-organization in people while they are doing their shopping. This thesis discusses the status-quo of supermarket optimization and leaps into how a supermarket simulation can use real-time information about customer purchases. And apply models inspired in swarm intelligence to empower customers with products sales level leading to an increase in impulse purchases.


Copyright held by author.