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Time series prediction techniques have been used in many real-world applications such as financial market prediction, electric utility load forecasting , weather and environmental state prediction, and reliability forecasting. The underlying system models and time series data generating processes are generally complex for these applications and the models for these systems are usually not known a priori. Accurate and unbiased estimation of the time series data produced by these systems cannot always be achieved using well known linear techniques, and thus the estimation process requires more advanced time series prediction algorithms. This paper provides a survey of time series prediction applications using a novel machine learning approach: support vector machines (SVM). The underlying motivation for using SVMs is the ability of this methodology to accurately forecast time series data when the underlying system processes are typically nonlinear, non-stationary and not defined a-priori. SVMs have also been proven to outperform other non-linear techniques including neural-network based non-linear prediction techniques such as multi-layer perceptrons.The ultimate goal is to provide the reader with insight into the applications using SVM for time series prediction, to give a brief tutorial on SVMs for time series prediction, to outline some of the advantages and challenges in using SVMs for time series prediction, and to provide a source for the reader to locate books, technical journals, and other online SVM research resources.
Date of Publication: May 2009