Improving Neural Networks for Time Series Forecasting using Data Augmentation and AutoML

by   Indrajeet Y. Javeri, et al.

Statistical methods such as the Box-Jenkins method for time-series forecasting have been prominent since their development in 1970. Many researchers rely on such models as they can be efficiently estimated and also provide interpretability. However, advances in machine learning research indicate that neural networks can be powerful data modeling techniques, as they can give higher accuracy for a plethora of learning problems and datasets. In the past, they have been tried on time-series forecasting as well, but their overall results have not been significantly better than the statistical models especially for intermediate length times series data. Their modeling capacities are limited in cases where enough data may not be available to estimate the large number of parameters that these non-linear models require. This paper presents an easy to implement data augmentation method to significantly improve the performance of such networks. Our method, Augmented-Neural-Network, which involves using forecasts from statistical models, can help unlock the power of neural networks on intermediate length time-series and produces competitive results. It shows that data augmentation, when paired with Automated Machine Learning techniques such as Neural Architecture Search, can help to find the best neural architecture for a given time-series. Using the combination of these, demonstrates significant enhancement for two configurations of our technique for a COVID-19 dataset, improving forecasting accuracy by 19.90 11.43


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