Forecasting with time series imaging

Xixi Li, Yanfei Kang, Feng Li

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Feature-based time series representations have attracted substantial attention in a wide range of time series analysis methods. Recently, the use of time series features for forecast model averaging has been an emerging research focus in the forecasting community. Nonetheless, most of the existing approaches depend on the manual choice of an appropriate set of features. Exploiting machine learning methods to extract features from time series automatically becomes crucial in state-of-the-art time series analysis. In this paper, we introduce an automated approach to extract time series features based on time series imaging. We first transform time series into recurrence plots, from which local features can be extracted using computer vision algorithms. The extracted features are used for forecast model averaging. Our experiments show that forecasting based on automatically extracted features, with less human intervention and a more comprehensive view of the raw time series data, yields highly comparable performances with the best methods in the largest forecasting competition dataset (M4) and outperforms the top methods in the Tourism forecasting competition dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113680
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Forecast combination
  • Forecasting
  • Recurrence plots
  • Time series feature extraction
  • Time series imaging


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