Someone sent me some questions by email, and I decided to answer some of them here. Continue reading →
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.
A common problem is to forecast the aggregate of several time periods of data, using a model fitted to the disaggregated data. For example, you may have monthly data but wish to forecast the total for the next year. Or you may have weekly data, and want to forecast the total for the next four weeks.
If the point forecasts are means, then adding them up will give a good estimate of the total. But prediction intervals are more tricky due to the correlations between forecast errors.
I’ve pushed a minor update to the forecast package to CRAN. Some highlights are listed here.
It has been well-known since at least 1969, when Bates and Granger wrote their famous paper on “The Combination of Forecasts”, that combining forecasts often leads to better forecast accuracy.
So it is helpful to have a couple of new R packages which do just that: opera and forecastHybrid.
This is only directly relevant to my Monash students and colleagues, but the same idea might be useful for adapting to other institutions.
Some recent changes in the rmarkdown and bookdown packages mean that it is now possible to produce working papers in exactly the same format as we previously used with LaTeX. Continue reading →
I have a new R package available to do temporal hierarchical forecasting, based on my paper with George Athanasopoulos, Nikolaos Kourentzes and Fotios Petropoulos. (Guess the odd guy out there!)
It is called “thief” – an acronym for Temporal HIErarchical Forecasting. The idea is to take a seasonal time series, and compute all possible temporal aggregations that result in an integer number of observations per year. For example, a quarterly time series is aggregated to biannual and annual; while a monthly time series is aggregated to 2-monthly, quarterly, 4-monthly, biannual and annual. Each of the resulting time series are forecast, and then the forecasts are reconciled using the hierarchical reconciliation algorithm described in our paper.
It turns out that this tends to give better forecasts, even though no new information has been added, especially for time series with long seasonal periods. It also allows different types of forecasts for different forecast horizons to be combined in a consistent manner.
We are hiring again, and looking for people in statistics, econometrics and related fields (such as actuarial science, machine learning, and business analytics). We have a strong business analytics group (with particular expertise in data visualization, machine learning, statistical computing, R, and forecasting), and it would be great to see it grow. The official advert follows.