Industrial Forecasting with Exponentially Smoothed Recurrent Neural Networks

30 Pages Posted: 5 May 2020

Date Written: April 9, 2020


Industrial forecasting has entered an era of unprecedented growth in the size and complexity of data which require new modeling methodologies. While many new general purpose machine learning approaches have emerged, they remain poorly understand and irreconcilable with more traditional statistical modeling approaches. We present a general class of exponential smoothed recurrent neural networks (RNNs) which are well suited to modeling non-stationary dynamical systems arising in industrial applications such as electricity load management and financial risk and trading. In particular, we analyze their capacity to characterize the non-linear partial autocorrelation structure of time series and directly capture dynamic effects such as seasonality and regime changes. Application of exponentially smoothed RNNs to electricity load forecasting, weather data and financial time series, such as minute level Bitcoin prices and CME futures tick data, highlight the efficacy of exponential smoothing for multi-step time series forecasting. The results also suggest that popular, but more complicated neural network architectures originally designed for speech processing, such as LSTMs and GRUs, are likely over-engineered for industrial forecasting and light-weight exponentially smoothed architectures capture the salient features while being superior and more robust than simple RNNs.

Keywords: times series modeling, recurrent neural network, exponential smoothing

Suggested Citation

Dixon, Matthew Francis, Industrial Forecasting with Exponentially Smoothed Recurrent Neural Networks (April 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Matthew Francis Dixon (Contact Author)

Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

Department of Math
W 32nd St., E1 room 208, 10 S Wabash Ave, Chicago,
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

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