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Bayesian networks of customer satisfaction survey data

Listed author(s):
  • Silvia Salini
  • Ron Kenett

A Bayesian network (BN) is a probabilistic graphical model that represents a set of variables and their probabilistic dependencies. Formally, BNs are directed acyclic graphs whose nodes represent variables, and whose arcs encode the conditional dependencies among the variables. Nodes can represent any kind of variable, be it a measured parameter, a latent variable, or a hypothesis. They are not restricted to represent random variables, which form the “Bayesian” aspect of a BN. Efficient algorithms exist that perform inference and learning in BNs. BNs that model sequences of variables are called dynamic BNs. In this context, [A. Harel, R. Kenett, and F. Ruggeri, Modeling web usability diagnostics on the basis of usage statistics, in Statistical Methods in eCommerce Research, W. Jank and G. Shmueli, eds., Wiley, 2008] provide a comparison between Markov Chains and BNs in the analysis of web usability from e-commerce data. A comparison of regression models, structural equation models, and BNs is presented in Anderson et al. [R.D. Anderson, R.D. Mackoy, V.B. Thompson, and G. Harrell, A bayesian network estimation of the service-profit Chain for transport service satisfaction, Decision Sciences 35(4), (2004), pp. 665-689]. In this article we apply BNs to the analysis of customer satisfaction surveys and demonstrate the potential of the approach. In particular, BNs offer advantages in implementing models of cause and effect over other statistical techniques designed primarily for testing hypotheses. Other advantages include the ability to conduct probabilistic inference for prediction and diagnostic purposes with an output that can be intuitively understood by managers.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Applied Statistics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1177-1189

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Handle: RePEc:taf:japsta:v:36:y:2009:i:11:p:1177-1189
DOI: 10.1080/02664760802587982
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