EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The impact of special days in call arrivals forecasting: A neural network approach to modelling special days

Devon Barrow and Nikolaos Kourentzes

European Journal of Operational Research, 2018, vol. 264, issue 3, 967-977

Abstract: A key challenge for call centres remains the forecasting of high frequency call arrivals collected in hourly or shorter time buckets. In addition to the complex intraday, intraweek and intrayear seasonal cycles, call arrival data typically contain a large number of anomalous days, driven by the occurrence of holidays, special events, promotional activities and system failures. This study evaluates the use of a variety of univariate time series forecasting methods for forecasting intraday call arrivals in the presence of such outliers. Apart from established, statistical methods, we consider artificial neural networks (ANNs). Based on the modelling flexibility of the latter, we introduce and evaluate different methods to encode the outlying periods. Using intraday arrival series from a call centre operated by one of Europe’s leading entertainment companies, we provide new insights on the impact of outliers on the performance of established forecasting methods. Results show that ANNs forecast call centre data accurately, and are capable of modelling complex outliers using relatively simple outlier modelling approaches. We argue that the relative complexity of ANNs over standard statistical models is offset by the simplicity of coding multiple and unknown effects during outlying periods.

Keywords: Time series forecasting; Call centre arrivals; Outliers; Functional data; Neural networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221716305525
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:967-977

Access Statistics for this article

European Journal of Operational Research is currently edited by Roman Slowinski, Jesus Artalejo, Jean-Charles. Billaut, Robert Dyson and Lorenzo Peccati

More articles in European Journal of Operational Research from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-01-19
Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:967-977