Frankly speaking, I didn’t see the point in discussing MAPE when I wrote recent posts on error measures. However, I’ve received several comments and messages from data scientists and demand planners asking for clarification. So, here it is. TL;DR: Avoid using MAPE! MAPE, or Mean Absolute Percentage Error, is a still-very-popular-in-practice error measure, which is […]

# Detecting patterns in white noise

Back in 2015, when I was working on my paper on Complex Exponential Smoothing, I conducted a simple simulation experiment to check how ARIMA and ETS select components/orders in time series. And I found something interesting… One of the important steps in forecasting with statistical models is identifying the existing structure. In the case of […]

# Stop reporting several error measures just for the sake of them!

We continue our discussion of error measures (if you don’t mind). One other thing that you encounter in forecasting experiments is tables containing several error measures (MASE, RMSSE, MAPE, etc.). Have you seen something like this? Well, this does not make sense, and here is why. The idea of reporting several error measures comes from […]

# What does “lower error measure” really mean?

“My amazing forecasting method has a lower MASE than any other method!” You’ve probably seen claims like this on social media or in papers. But have you ever thought about what it really means? Many forecasting experiments come to applying several approaches to a dataset, calculating error measures for each method per time series and […]

# What’s wrong with ARIMA?

Have you heard of ARIMA? It is one of the benchmark forecasting models used in different academic experiments, although it is not always popular among practitioners. But why? What’s wrong with ARIMA? ARIMA has been a standard forecasting model in statistics for ages. It gained popularity with the famous Box & Jenkins (1970) book and […]

# The role of M competitions in forecasting

If you are interested in forecasting, you might have heard of M-competitions. They played a pivotal role in developing forecasting principles, yet also sparked controversy. In this short post, I’ll briefly explain their historical significance and discuss their main findings. Before M-competitions, only few papers properly evaluated forecasting approaches. Statisticians assumed that if a model […]

# Why you should not use Holt-Winters method

Whenever I see results of an experiment that include Holt-Winters method, I shrug. You should not use it, and here is why. Holt-Winters was developed in 1960 by a student of Charles Holt, Peter Winters (Winters, 1960). He extended Holt’s exponential smoothing method (the method that introduced a trend component) to include a seasonal component. […]

# Staying Positive: Challenges and Solutions in Using Pure Multiplicative ETS Models

Authors: Ivan Svetunkov, John E. Boylan Journal: IMA Journal of Management Mathematics Abstract: Exponential smoothing in state space form (ETS) is a popular forecasting technique, widely used in research and practice. While the additive error ETS models have been well studied, the multiplicative error ones have received much less attention in forecasting literature. Still, these […]

# Why you should care about Exponential Smoothing

On 15th December 2023, I presented in a CMAF Friday Forecasting Talks webinar on the topic of “Why you should care about exponential smoothing”. The motivation was to give a fresh view on the good old model and show how it started, how it evolved over time and how it can be improved. With this […]

# smooth & greybox under LGPLv2.1

Good news, everyone! I’ve recently released major versions of my packages smooth and greybox, v4.0.0 and v2.0.0 respectively, on CRAN. Has something big happened? Yes and no. Let me explain. Starting from these versions, the packages will be licensed under LGPLv2.1 instead of the very restrictive GPLv2. This does not change anything to the everyday […]