Econometric Modeling vs Artificial Neural Networks : A Sales Forecasting Comparison
Abstract: Econometric and predictive modeling techniques are two popular forecasting techniques. Both ofthese techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this thesis some econometricmodels are considered and compared to predictive models using sales data for five products fromICA a Swedish retail wholesaler. The econometric models considered are regression model,exponential smoothing, and ARIMA model. The predictive models considered are artificialneural network (ANN) and ensemble of neural networks. Evaluation metrics used for thecomparison are: MAPE, WMAPE, MAE, RMSE, and linear correlation. The result of this thesisshows that artificial neural network is more accurate in forecasting sales of product. But it doesnot differ too much from linear regression in terms of accuracy. Therefore the linear regressionmodel which has the advantage of being comprehensible can be used as an alternative to artificialneural network. The results also show that the use of several metrics contribute in evaluatingmodels for forecasting sales.
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