Support vector regression for warranty claim forecasting
Forecasting the number of warranty claims is vitally important for manufacturers/warranty providers in preparing fiscal plans. In existing literature, a number of techniques such as log-linear Poisson models, Kalman filter, time series models, and artificial neural network models have been developed. Nevertheless, one might find two weaknesses existing in these approaches: (1) they do not consider the fact that warranty claims reported in the recent months might be more important in forecasting future warranty claims than those reported in the earlier months, and (2) they are developed based on repair rates (i.e., the total number of claims divided by the total number of products in service), which can cause information loss through such an arithmetic-mean operation. To overcome the above two weaknesses, this paper introduces two different approaches to forecasting warranty claims: the first is a weighted support vector regression (SVR) model and the second is a weighted SVR-based time series model. These two approaches can be applied to two scenarios: when only claim rate data are available and when original claim data are available. Two case studies are conducted to validate the two modelling approaches. On the basis of model evaluation over six months ahead forecasting, the results show that the proposed models exhibit superior performance compared to that of multilayer perceptrons, radial basis function networks and ordinary support vector regression models.
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