Classical and contemporary approaches to operational forecasting
Time series forecasting is a key ingredient in the automation and optimization of business processes: in retail, deciding which products to order and where to store them depends on the forecasts of future demand in di erent regions; in cloud computing, the estimated future usage of services and infrastructure components guides capacity planning; and workforce scheduling in warehouses, call centers, factories requires forecasts of the future workload. Recent years have witnessed a paradigm shift in forecasting techniques and applications, from computer-assisted model- and assumption based to data-driven and fully-automated. This shift can be attributed to the availability of large, rich, and diverse time series data sources, posing unprecedented challenges to traditional time series forecasting methods. As such, how can we build statistical models to eciently and e ectively learn to forecast from large and diverse data sources? How can we leverage the statistical power of \similar" time series to improve forecasts in the case of limited observations? What are the implications for building forecasting systems that can handle large data volumes? The objective of this tutorial is to provide a concise and intuitive overview of the most important methods and tools available for solving large-scale forecasting problems. We review the state of the art in three related elds: (1) classical modeling of time series, (2) scalable tensor methods, and (3) deep learning for forecasting. Further, we share lessons learned from building scalable forecasting systems. While our focus is on providing an intuitive overview of the methods and practical issues, we also present technical details underlying these powerful tools.