Properties of point forecast reconciliation approaches

03/20/2021
by   Shanika L Wickramasuriya, et al.
0

Point forecast reconciliation of collection of time series with linear aggregation constraints has evolved substantially over the last decade. A few commonly used methods are GLS (generalized least squares), OLS (ordinary least squares), WLS (weighted least squares), and MinT (minimum trace). GLS and MinT have similar mathematical expressions, but they differ by the covariance matrix used. OLS and WLS can be considered as special cases of MinT where they differ by the assumptions made about the structure of the covariance matrix. All these methods ensure that the reconciled forecasts are unbiased, provided that the base forecasts are unbiased. The ERM (empirical risk minimizer) approach was proposed to relax the assumption of unbiasedness. This paper proves that (a) GLS and MinT reduce to the same solution; (b) on average, a method similar to ERM (which we refer to as MinT-U) can produce better forecasts than MinT (lowest total mean squared error) which is then followed by OLS and then by base; and (c) the mean squared error of each series in the structure for MinT-U is smaller than that for MinT which is then followed by that for either OLS or base forecasts. We show these theoretical results using a set of simulation studies. We also evaluate them using the Australian domestic tourism data set.

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