Cross-validation based forecasting method: a machine learning approach
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Our paper aims to evaluate two novel methods on selecting the best forecasting model or its combination based on a Machine Learning approach. The methods are based on the selection of the ”best” model, or combination of models, by crossvalidation technique, from a set of possible models. The first one is based on the seminal paper of Granger-Bates (1969) but weights are estimated by a process of cross-validation applied on the training set. The second one selects the model with the best forecasting performance in the process described above, which we called CvML (Cross-Validation Machine Learning Method). The following models are used: exponential smoothing, SARIMA, artificial neural networks and Threshold autoregression (TAR). Model specification is chosen by R packages: forecast and TSA. Both methods – CvML and MGB - are applied to these models to generate forecasts from one up to twelve periods ahead. Frequency of data is monthly. We run the forecasts exercise to the following to monthly series of Industrial Product Indices for seven countries: Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, UK and USA. The data was collected at OECD data, with 504 observations. We choose Average Forecast Combination, Granger Bates Method, MCS model, Naive and Seasonal Naive Model as benchmarks.Our results suggest that MGB did not performed well. However, CvML had a lower mean absolute error for most of countries and forecast horizons, particularly at longer horizons, surpassing all the proposed benchmarks. Similar results hold for absolute mean forecast error.