HOME
        TheInfoList






Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and most commonly by analysis of trends. A commonplace example might be estimation of some variable of interest at some specified future date. Prediction is a similar, but more general term. Both might refer to formal statistical methods employing time series, cross-sectional or longitudinal data, or alternatively to less formal judgmental methods. Usage can differ between areas of application: for example, in hydrology the terms "forecast" and "forecasting" are sometimes reserved for estimates of values at certain specific future times, while the term "prediction" is used for more general estimates, such as the number of times floods will occur over a long period.

Risk and uncertainty are central to forecasting and prediction; it is generally considered good practice to indicate the degree of uncertainty attaching to forecasts. In any case, the data must be up to date in order for the forecast to be as accurate as possible. In some cases the data used to predict the variable of interest is itself forecast.[1]

Categories of forecasting methods

Qualitative vs. quantitative methods

Qualitative forecasting techniques are subjective, based on the opinion and judgment of consumers and experts; they are appropriate when past data are not available. They are usually applied to intermediate- or long-range decisions. Examples of qualitative forecasting methods are[citation needed] informed opinion and judgment, the Risk and uncertainty are central to forecasting and prediction; it is generally considered good practice to indicate the degree of uncertainty attaching to forecasts. In any case, the data must be up to date in order for the forecast to be as accurate as possible. In some cases the data used to predict the variable of interest is itself forecast.[1]

Qualitative forecasting techniques are subjective, based on the opinion and judgment of consumers and experts; they are appropriate when past data are not available. They are usually applied to intermediate- or long-range decisions. Examples of qualitative forecasting methods are[citation needed] informed opinion and judgment, the Delphi method, market research, and historical life-cycle analogy.

Quantitative forecasting models are used to forecast future data as a function of past data. They are appropriate to use when past numerical data is available and when it is reasonable to assume that some of the patterns in the data are expected to continue into the future. These methods are usually applied to short- or intermediate-range decisions. Examples of quantitative forecasting methods are[citation needed] last period demand, simple and weighted N-Period moving averages, simple exponential smoothing, poisson process model based forecasting [2] and multiplicative seasonal indexes. Previous research shows that different methods may lead to different level of forecasting accuracy. For example, GMDH neural network was found to have better forecasting performance than the classical forecasting algorithms such as Single Exponential Smooth, Double Exponential Smooth, ARIMA and back-propagation neural network.[3]

Average approach

In this approach, the predictions of all future values are equal to the mean of the past data. This approach can be used with any sort of data where past data is available. In time series notation:

[4]

where models are used to forecast future data as a function of past data. They are appropriate to use when past numerical data is available and when it is reasonable to assume that some of the patterns in the data are expected to continue into the future. These methods are usually applied to short- or intermediate-range decisions. Examples of quantitative forecasting methods are[citation needed] last period demand, simple and weighted N-Period moving averages, simple exponential smoothing, poisson process model based forecasting [2] and multiplicative seasonal indexes. Previous research shows that different methods may lead to different level of forecasting accuracy. For example, GMDH neural network was found to have better forecasting performance than the classical forecasting algorithms such as Single Exponential Smooth, Double Exponential Smooth, ARIMA and back-propagation neural network.[3]

In this approach, the predictions of all future values are equal to the mean of the past data. This approach can be used with any sort of data where past data is available. In time series notation:

is the past data.

Although the time series notation has been used here, the average approach can also be used for cross-sectional data (when we are predicting unobserved values; values that are not included in the data set). Then, the prediction for unobserved values is the average of the observed values.

Naïve approach

Naïve forecasts are the most cost-effective forecasting model, and provide a benchmark against which more sophisticated models can be compared. This forecasting method is only suitable for time series data.[4] Using the naïve approach, forecasts are produced that are equal to the last observed value. This method works quite well for economic and financial time series, which often have patterns that are difficult to reliably and accurately predict.[4] If the time series is believed to have seasonality, the seasonal naïve approach may be more appropriate where the forecasts are equal to the value from last season. In time series notation:

Normal Exit PeriodicService.php