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Probabilistic AutoRegressive Neural Networks for Accurate Long-Range Forecasting

2023, Panja, Madhurima, Chakraborty, Tanujit, Kumar, Uttam, Hadid, Abdenour

Forecasting time series data is a critical area of research with applications spanning from stock prices to early epidemic prediction. While numerous statistical and machine learning methods have been proposed, real-life prediction problems often require hybrid solutions that bridge classical forecasting approaches and modern neural network models. In this study, we introduce a Probabilistic AutoRegressive Neural Network (PARNN), capable of handling complex time series data exhibiting non-stationarity, nonlinearity, non-seasonality, long-range dependence, and chaotic patterns. PARNN is constructed by improving autoregressive neural networks (ARNN) using autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) feedback error. Notably, the PARNN model provides uncertainty quantification through prediction intervals and conformal predictions setting it apart from advanced deep learning tools. Through comprehensive computational experiments, we evaluate the performance of PARNN against standard statistical, machine learning, and deep learning models. Diverse real-world datasets from macroeconomics, tourism, epidemiology, and other domains are employed for short-term, medium-term, and long-term forecasting evaluations. Our results demonstrate the superiority of PARNN across various forecast horizons, surpassing the state-of-the-art forecasters. The proposed PARNN model offers a valuable hybrid solution for accurate long-range forecasting. The ability to quantify uncertainty through prediction intervals further enhances the model’s usefulness in various decision-making processes.

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Stochastic forecasting of COVID-19 daily new cases across countries with a novel hybrid time series model

2022, Chakraborty, Tanujit, Rai, Shesh N., Bhattacharyya, Arinjita

An unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the form of peculiar pneumonia has spread globally since its first case in Wuhan province, China, in December 2019. Soon after, the infected cases and mortality increased rapidly. The future of the pandemic’s progress was uncertain, and thus, predicting it became crucial for public health researchers. These predictions help the effective allocation of health-care resources, stockpiling, and help in strategic planning for clinicians, government authorities, and public health policymakers after understanding the extent of the effect. The main objective of this paper is to develop a hybrid forecasting model that can generate real-time out-of-sample forecasts of COVID-19 outbreaks for five profoundly affected countries, namely the USA, Brazil, India, the UK, and Canada. A novel hybrid approach based on the Theta method and autoregressive neural network (ARNN) model, named Theta-ARNN (TARNN) model, is developed. Daily new cases of COVID-19 are nonlinear, non-stationary, and volatile; thus, a single specific model cannot be ideal for future prediction of the pandemic. However, the newly introduced hybrid forecasting model with an acceptable prediction error rate can help healthcare and government for effective planning and resource allocation. The proposed method outperforms traditional univariate and hybrid forecasting models for the test datasets on an average.