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A hybrid econometric-machine learning approach for relative importance analysis: Food inflation

arXiv.org Machine Learning

A measure of relative importance of variables is often desired by researchers when the explanatory aspects of econometric methods are of interest. To this end, the author briefly reviews the limitations of conventional econometrics in constructing a reliable measure of variable importance. The author highlights the relative stature of explanatory and predictive analysis in economics and the emergence of fruitful collaborations between econometrics and computer science. Learning lessons from both, the author proposes a hybrid approach based on conventional econometrics and advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms, which are otherwise, used in predictive analytics. The purpose of this article is two-fold, to propose a hybrid approach to assess relative importance and demonstrate its applicability in addressing policy priority issues with an example of food inflation in India, followed by a broader aim to introduce the possibility of conflation of ML and conventional econometrics to an audience of researchers in economics and social sciences, in general.


Using Semantics and Statistics to Turn Data into Knowledge

AI Magazine

Many information extraction and knowledge base construction systems are addressing the challenge of deriving knowledge from text. A key problem in constructing these knowledge bases from sources like the web is overcoming the erroneous and incomplete information found in millions of candidate extractions. To solve this problem, we turn to semantics — using ontological constraints between candidate facts to eliminate errors. In this article, we represent the desired knowledge base as a knowledge graph and introduce the problem of knowledge graph identification, collectively resolving the entities, labels, and relations present in the knowledge graph. Knowledge graph identification requires reasoning jointly over millions of extractions simultaneously, posing a scalability challenge to many approaches. We use probabilistic soft logic (PSL), a recently-introduced statistical relational learning framework, to implement an efficient solution to knowledge graph identification and present state-of-the-art results for knowledge graph construction while performing an order of magnitude faster than competing methods.


Multivariate Forecasting of Crude Oil Spot Prices using Neural Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Abstract--Crude oil is a major component in most advanced economies of the world. Accurately predicting and understanding thebehavior of crude oil prices is important for economists, analysts, forecasters, and traders, to name a few. The price of crude oil has declined in the past decade and is seeing a phase of stability; but will this stability last? This work is an empirical study on how multivariate analysis may be employed to predict crude oil spot prices using neural networks. The concept of using neural networks showed promising potential. A very simple neural network model was able to perform on par with ARIMA models - the state-of-the-art model in time-series forecasting. Advanced neural network models using larger datasets may be used in the future to extend this proofof-concept toa full scale framework. I. INTRODUCTION Crude oil spot prices saw a tremendous uptick in the first decade of the 21 Since 2014, crude oil prices have fallen and may have stabilized now. However, there has always been a constant interest in accurately predicting crude oil prices; given that crude oil drives a major portion of the economy. Economists, scientists, data analysts, and traders are all interested in models that give them the best accuracy.


Nowcasting Recessions using the SVM Machine Learning Algorithm

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recessions reflect great dislocation in the economy and are often the source of societal anxiety. During a recession, unemployment is usually higher, and output is lower. Accurately identifying turning points from expansions to recessions has broad use for policymakers, business executives, academics, and individuals. Additionally, investors with enough resources to use this information in their investment process may change their portfolios as the economy turns from growth to contraction. There have been several attempts in the literature to accurately predict the timing of recessions.


Numerical Relation Extraction with Minimal Supervision

AAAI Conferences

We study a novel task of numerical relation extraction with the goal of extracting relations where one of the arguments is a number or a quantity ( e.g., atomic_number(Aluminium, 13), inflation_rate(India, 10.9%)). This task presents peculiar challenges not found in standard IE, such as the difficulty of matching numbers in distant supervision and the importance of units. We design two extraction systems that require minimal human supervision per relation: (1) NumberRule, a rule based extractor, and (2) NumberTron, a probabilistic graphical model. We find that both systems dramatically outperform MultiR, a state-of-the-art non-numerical IE model, obtaining up to 25 points F-score improvement.