FEEDFORWARD NEURAL NETWORKS AND THE FORECASTING OF MULTI-SECTIONAL DEMAND FOR TELECOM SERVICES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF EFFECTIVENESS FOR HOURLY DATA
The presented research focuses on the construction of a model to effectively forecast demand for connection services – it is thus relevant to the Prediction System (PS) of telecom operators. The article contains results of comparative studies regarding the effectiveness of neural network models and regressive-neural (integrated) models, in terms of their short-term forecasting abilities for multi-sectional demand of telecom services. The feedforward neural network was used as the neural network model. A regressive-neural model was constructed by fusing the dichotomous linear regression of multi-sectional demand and the feedforward neural network that was used to model the residuals of the regression model (i.e. the residual variability). The response variable was the hourly counted seconds of outgoing calls within the framework of the selected operator network. The calls were analysed within: type of 24 hours (e.g. weekday/weekend), connection categories, and subscriber groups. For both compared models 35 explanatory variables were specified and used in the estimation process. The results show that the regressive-neural model is characterised by higher approximation and predictive capabilities than the non-integrated neural model.
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