A New Perspective of Performance Comparison among Machine Learning Algorithms for Financial Distress Prediction
33 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 13, 2019
We set out in this study to review a vast amount of recent literature on machine learning (ML) approaches to predicting financial distress (FD), including supervised, unsupervised and hybrid supervised-unsupervised learning algorithms. Four supervised ML models including the traditional support vector machine (SVM), recently developed hybrid associative memory with translation (HACT), hybrid GA-fuzzy clustering and extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) were compared in prediction performance to the unsupervised classifier deep belief network (DBN) and the hybrid DBN-SVM model, whereby a total of sixteen financial variables were selected from the financial statements of the publicly-listed Taiwanese firms as inputs to the six approaches. Our empirical findings, covering the 2010-2016 sample period, demonstrated that among the four supervised algorithms, the XGBoost provided the most accurate FD prediction. Moreover, the hybrid DBN-SVM model was able to generate more accurate forecasts than the use of either the SVM or the classifier DBN in isolation.
Keywords: HACT, GA-fuzzy clustering, XGBoost, hybrid DBN-SVM, financial distress prediction
JEL Classification: G17, G32, O16, O31
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