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Forecasting Intraday Time Series with Multiple Seasonal Cycles Using Parsimonious Seasonal Exponential Smoothing

  • James W. Taylor


  • Ralph D. Snyder


This paper concerns the forecasting of seasonal intraday time series. An extension of Holt-Winters exponential smoothing has been proposed that smoothes an intraday cycle and an intraweek cycle. A recently proposed exponential smoothing method involves smoothing a different intraday cycle for each distinct type of day of the week. Similar days are allocated identical intraday cycles. A limitation is that the method allows only whole days to be treated as identical. We introduce an exponential smoothing formulation that allows parts of different days of the week to be treated as identical. The result is a method that involves the smoothing and initialisation of fewer terms than the other two exponential smoothing methods. We evaluate forecasting up to a day ahead using two empirical studies. For electricity load data, the new method compares well with a range of alternatives. The second study involves a series of arrivals at a call centre that is open for a shorter duration at the weekends than on weekdays. By contrast with the previously proposed exponential smoothing methods, our new method can model in a straightforward way this situation, where the number of periods on each day of the week is not the same.

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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics in its series Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers with number 9/09.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 02 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2009-9
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  1. Weinberg, Jonathan & Brown, Lawrence D. & Stroud, Jonathan R., 2007. "Bayesian Forecasting of an Inhomogeneous Poisson Process With Applications to Call Center Data," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 1185-1198, December.
  2. Noah Gans & Ger Koole & Avishai Mandelbaum, 2003. "Telephone Call Centers: Tutorial, Review, and Research Prospects," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(2), pages 79-141, September.
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  4. Rasmussen, Rasmus, 2004. "On time series data and optimal parameters," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 111-120, April.
  5. Taylor, James W., 2010. "Reply to the discussion of: Exponentially weighted methods for forecasting intraday time series with multiple seasonal cycles," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 658-660, October.
  6. Demyanyk, Yuliya & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2010. "Financial crises and bank failures: A review of prediction methods," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 315-324, October.
  7. Darbellay, Georges A. & Slama, Marek, 2000. "Forecasting the short-term demand for electricity: Do neural networks stand a better chance?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 71-83.
  8. Woo, Chi-Keung & Horowitz, Ira & Olson, Arne & Horii, Brian & Baskette, Carmen, 2006. "Efficient frontiers for electricity procurement by an LDC with multiple purchase options," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 70-80, January.
  9. Taylor, James W. & de Menezes, Lilian M. & McSharry, Patrick E., 2006. "A comparison of univariate methods for forecasting electricity demand up to a day ahead," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16.
  10. Lawrence Brown & Noah Gans & Avishai Mandelbaum & Anat Sakov & Haipeng Shen & Sergey Zeltyn & Linda Zhao, 2005. "Statistical Analysis of a Telephone Call Center: A Queueing-Science Perspective," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 36-50, March.
  11. Haipeng Shen & Jianhua Z. Huang, 2008. "Interday Forecasting and Intraday Updating of Call Center Arrivals," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 391-410, July.
  12. James W. Taylor, 2008. "A Comparison of Univariate Time Series Methods for Forecasting Intraday Arrivals at a Call Center," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(2), pages 253-265, February.
  13. William Lam & Y. Tang & K. Chan & Mei-Lam Tam, 2006. "Short-term Hourly Traffic Forecasts using Hong Kong Annual Traffic Census," Transportation, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 291-310, 05.
  14. Taylor, James W., 2010. "Exponentially weighted methods for forecasting intraday time series with multiple seasonal cycles," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 627-646, October.
  15. Refik Soyer & M. Murat Tarimcilar, 2008. "Modeling and Analysis of Call Center Arrival Data: A Bayesian Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(2), pages 266-278, February.
  16. Cottet R. & Smith M., 2003. "Bayesian Modeling and Forecasting of Intraday Electricity Load," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 839-849, January.
  17. Tych, Wlodek & Pedregal, Diego J. & Young, Peter C. & Davies, John, 2002. "An unobserved component model for multi-rate forecasting of telephone call demand: the design of a forecasting support system," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 673-695.
  18. Gould, Phillip G. & Koehler, Anne B. & Ord, J. Keith & Snyder, Ralph D. & Hyndman, Rob J. & Vahid-Araghi, Farshid, 2008. "Forecasting time series with multiple seasonal patterns," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 191(1), pages 207-222, November.
  19. Regnier, Eva, 2008. "Doing something about the weather," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 22-32, February.
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