Comparison of Some AI and Statistical Classification Methods for a Marketing Case

Comparison of Some AI and Statistical Classification Methods for a Marketing Case

By David Bruce Montgomery, K. Vanhoff, G. Swinnen
1996Working Paper No. 1385

Recent progress in data processing technology has made the accumulation and systematic organization of large volumes of data a routine activity. As a result of these developments, there is an increasing need for data-based or data-driven methods of model development. This paper describes data-driven classification methods and shows that the automatic development and refinement of decision support models is now possible when the machine is given a large (or sometimes even a small) amount of observations that express instances of a certain task domain. The classifier obtained may be used to build a decision support system, to refine or update an existing system and to understand or improve a decision-making process. The described AI classification methods are compared with statistical classification methods for a marketing application. They can act as a basis for data-driven decision support systems that have two basic components: an automated knowledge module and an advice module or, in different terms, an automated knowledge acquisition/retrieval module and a knowledge processing module. When these modules are integrated or linked, a decision support system can be created which enables an organization to make better-quality decisions, with reduced variance, probably using fewer people.