Forecasters: bring your family to Cairns

Courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland

We know Australia is a long way to come for many forecasters, so we are making it easy for you to bring your families along to the International Symposium on Forecasting and have a vacation at the same time.

During the International Symposium on Forecasting, there will be a social program organized for family and friends. Continue reading →

Forecasting practitioner talks at ISF 2017

The International Symposium on Forecasting is a little unusual for an academic conference in that it has always had a strong presence of forecasters working in business and industry as well as academic forecasters, mostly at universities. We value the combination and interaction as it helps the academics understand the sorts of problems facing forecasters in practice, and it helps practitioners stay abreast of new methods and developments coming out of forecasting research.

For the next ISF to be held in Cairns, Australia, in June 2017, we have a great line-up of forecast practitioners discussing some of their forecasting challenges (and solutions). These speakers and their topics are listed below. Continue reading →

IJF Tao Hong Award for the best paper in energy forecasting 2013-2014

Professor Tao Hong has generously funded a new prize for the best IJF paper on energy forecasting, to be awarded every two years. The first award will be for papers published in the International Journal of Forecasting during the period 2013-2014. The prize will be US$1000 plus an engraved plaque. The award committee is Rob J Hyndman, Pierre Pinson and James Mitchell.

Nominations are invited from any reader of the IJF. Each person may nominate up to three papers, but you cannot nominate a paper that you have coauthored yourself. Papers coauthored by Tao Hong or one of the award committee are not eligible for the prize. All nominations are to be accompanied by a short statement (up to 200 words) from the nominator, explaining why the paper deserves an award.

You can see the relevant papers published in the period 2013-2014 on Google Scholar. Of course, a good paper does not always get noticed, so don’t let the citation count sway you too much in nominating what you consider to be the best IJF paper from this period.

Nominations should be sent to me by email by 8 February 2017.

Invited sessions at the International Symposium on Forecasting

hero-shot-turtle-high-res-300x201We are currently calling for invited session proposals for the ISF to be held in Cairns, Australia, in June 2017.

An invited session consists of 3 or 4 talks around a specific forecasting theme. You are allowed to be one of the speakers in a session you organize (although it is not necessary). So if you know what you are planning to speak about, all you need to do is find 2 or 3 other speakers who will speak on something related, and invite them to join you. The length of all such invited talks will be about 20 minutes.

Invited sessions will be marked as such on the program and carry a slightly higher status than a contributed session. Unfortunately, we can’t offer any financial support for these invited speakers or session organizers.

If you are interested in organizing an invited session, please contact us with your topic. The deadline for proposals is 28 February 2017. We don’t need to know who will speak at it — you have a few months to find willing participants after you agree to organize a session.

The ISF is a little different from most academic conferences in that about 1/3 of the attendees are practitioners, and 2/3 are academics. Consequently, we are not only interested in traditional academic sessions, but also in talks from company-based forecasters describing the forecasting challenges they face, and hopefully some of the solutions.

See forecasters.org/isf/ for more information about the conference, and the location. Cairns is one of the most beautiful places in Australia, and very close to the Great Barrier Reef. June is also the best time to visit the area, as it is during the dry season with moderate temperatures and lots of sunshine. We are hoping that people attending the conference will choose to have a holiday in the region as well.

Tourism forecasting competition data as an R package

The data used in the tourism forecasting competition, discussed in Athanasopoulos et al (2011), have been made available in the Tcomp package for R. The objects are of the same format as for Mcomp package containing data from the M1 and M3 competitions.

Thanks to Peter Ellis for putting the package together. He has also produced a nice blog post about it.

GEFCom2017: Hierarchical Probabilistic Load Forecasting

After the great success of the previous two energy forecasting competitions we have run (GEFCom2012 and GEFCom2014), we are holding another one, this time focused on hierarchical probabilistic load forecasting. Check out all the details over on Tao Hong’s blog.

The previous GEFComs have led to some major advances in forecasting methodology, available via IJF papers by the winning teams. I expect similar developments to arise out of this competition. Winners get to present their work in Cairns, Australia at ISEA2017.