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Fall 2003
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Creator of the "Huff Model" for Predicting Consumer Spatial Behavior

Dr. David L. Huff Joins Esri as Technical Advisor

Esri has entered into an exclusive agreement with Dr. David L. Huff to use his internationally recognized research on the spatial aspects of marketing. Dr. Huff, professor at the University of Texas, Austin, is the creator of the Huff Model for predicting consumer spatial behavior. Dr. Huff will serve as an Esri technical advisor and use his expertise to develop advanced predictive models and review existing analysis capability in Esri's business analysis products and services.

Dr. Huff has held a variety of administrative and teaching positions, spanning the two disciplines of geography and marketing in all positions. He has consulted for dozens of agencies including the U.S. Department of Transportation, Resources for the Future, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Bureau of the Census, and National Endowment for the Arts as well as for numerous state and regional offices. He has advised hundreds of business firms on various aspects of market area analysis.

One of Dr. Huff's most significant contributions to marketing and applied geography was the development of a model to predict consumer spatial behavior. This model has been used by academicians and practitioners throughout the world. The Huff Model has been used extensively by market analysts and planners for more than 40 years and continues to be the standard model.

The Huff Model is based on the premise that when a person is confronted with a set of alternatives, the probability that any particular item will be selected is directly proportional to the perceived utility of each alternative (see "A Quick Review of the Model"). The model is an excellent example of a bridge between geography and business and has served as the primary work for others who are doing research in modeling choice behavior. There is currently a substantial body of literature on this subject testifying to the interest and importance of this area of research by geographic and marketing scholars.

Additional academic contributions that have been made by Dr. Huff include the application of multivariate graphic displays to market analysis, the formulation of objective measures for delineating market areas, the development of computerized systems to monitor economic activities geographically, and the derivation of planning regions for the geographic delivery of health care and economic services.

Dr. Huff was awarded the James R. Anderson Medal in Applied Geography (1988), the highest honor awarded by the Association of American Geographers for distinguished research in applied geography. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Mentor Award (1998) from the National Council for Geographic Education for his long history of successful mentoring of master's and doctoral students.

Esri welcomes Dr. Huff as part of its extended family of technical contributors and looks forward to future business product advancements that this relationship will produce.

For more information, contact Mark Berry, Esri (e-mail: mberry@esri.com).

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