Another look at estimators for intermittent demand

By | July 10, 2016

F. Petropoulos, N. Kourentzes and K. Nikolopoulos, 2016, International Journal of Production Economics, 181: 154-161.

In this paper we focus on a new methodology for looking at estimators for intermittent demand data. We propose a new aggregation framework for intermittent demand forecasting that performs aggregation over the demand volumes, in contrast to the standard framework that employs temporal (over time) aggregation. To achieve this we construct a transformed time series, the inverse intermittent demand series. The new algorithm is expected to work best on erratic and lumpy demand, as a result of the variance reduction of the non-zero demands. The improvement in forecasting performance is empirically demonstrated through an extensive evaluation in more than 8,000 time series of two well-researched spare parts data sets from the automotive and defence sectors. Furthermore a simulation is performed so as to provide a stock-control evaluation. The proposed framework could find popularity among practitioners given its suitability when dealing with clump sizes. As such it could be used in conjunction with existing popular forecasting methods for intermittent demand as an exception handling mechanism when certain types of demand are observed.

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