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Bayesian forecasting with the Holt–Winters model


  • J D Bermúdez

    (Universitat de València)

  • J V Segura

    (Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche)

  • E Vercher

    () (Universitat de València)


Exponential smoothing methods are widely used as forecasting techniques in inventory systems and business planning, where reliable prediction intervals are also required for a large number of series. This paper describes a Bayesian forecasting approach based on the Holt–Winters model, which allows obtaining accurate prediction intervals. We show how to build them incorporating the uncertainty due to the smoothing unknowns using a linear heteroscedastic model. That linear formulation simplifies obtaining the posterior distribution on the unknowns; a random sample from such posterior, which is not analytical, is provided using an acceptance sampling procedure and a Monte Carlo approach gives the predictive distributions. On the basis of this scheme, point-wise forecasts and prediction intervals are obtained. The accuracy of the proposed Bayesian forecasting approach for building prediction intervals is tested using the 3003 time series from the M3-competition.

Suggested Citation

  • J D Bermúdez & J V Segura & E Vercher, 2010. "Bayesian forecasting with the Holt–Winters model," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 61(1), pages 164-171, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jorsoc:v:61:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1057_jors.2008.152
    DOI: 10.1057/jors.2008.152

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Makridakis, Spyros & Hibon, Michele, 2000. "The M3-Competition: results, conclusions and implications," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 451-476.
    2. Taylor, James W., 2007. "Forecasting daily supermarket sales using exponentially weighted quantile regression," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 178(1), pages 154-167, April.
    3. J. Bermúdez & J. Segura & E. Vercher, 2008. "SIOPRED: a prediction and optimisation integrated system for demand," TOP: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 16(2), pages 258-271, December.
    4. Granger, C. W. J. & White, Halbert & Kamstra, Mark, 1989. "Interval forecasting : An analysis based upon ARCH-quantile estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 87-96, January.
    5. J D Bermúdez & J V Segura & E Vercher, 2006. "Improving demand forecasting accuracy using nonlinear programming software," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 57(1), pages 94-100, January.
    6. Hyndman, Rob J. & Koehler, Anne B. & Snyder, Ralph D. & Grose, Simone, 2002. "A state space framework for automatic forecasting using exponential smoothing methods," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 439-454.
    7. Yar, Mohammed & Chatfield, Chris, 1990. "Prediction intervals for the Holt-Winters forecasting procedure," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 127-137.
    8. Anne B. Koehler & Rob J. Hyndman & Ralph D. Snyder & J. Keith Ord, 2005. "Prediction intervals for exponential smoothing using two new classes of state space models," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 17-37.
    9. Hansen, Bruce E., 2006. "Interval forecasts and parameter uncertainty," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 377-398.
    10. Segura, J. V. & Vercher, E., 2001. "A spreadsheet modeling approach to the Holt-Winters optimal forecasting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 131(2), pages 375-388, June.
    11. Chatfield, Chris & Yar, Mohammed, 1991. "Prediction intervals for multiplicative Holt-Winters," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 31-37, May.
    12. J. D. Bermudez & J. V. Segura & E. Vercher, 2007. "Holt-Winters Forecasting: An Alternative Formulation Applied to UK Air Passenger Data," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 1075-1090.
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    Cited by:

    1. Makridakis, Spyros & Spiliotis, Evangelos & Assimakopoulos, Vassilios, 2020. "The M4 Competition: 100,000 time series and 61 forecasting methods," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 54-74.
    2. Prak, Dennis & Teunter, Ruud, 2019. "A general method for addressing forecasting uncertainty in inventory models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 224-238.

    More about this item


    forecasting; time series; prediction intervals; simulation; M3-competition;

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