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Bayesian Kernel Based Classification for Financial Distress Detection

Bayesian Kernel Based Classification for Financial Distress Detection

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Published by Ahmad Khaliq
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Abstract
Corporate credit granting is a key commercial activity of financial institutions nowadays. A critical first step in the
credit granting process usually involves a careful financial analysis of the creditworthiness of the potential client. Wrong
decisions result either in foregoing valuable clients or, more severely, in substantial capital losses if the client subsequently
defaults. It is thus of crucial importance to develop models that estimate the probability of corporate bankruptcy
with a high degree of accuracy. Many studies focused on the use of financial ratios in linear statistical
models, such as linear discriminant analysis and logistic regression. However, the obtained error rates are often high.
In this paper, Least Squares Support Vector Machine (LS-SVM) classifiers, also known as kernel Fisher discriminant
analysis, are applied within the Bayesian evidence framework in order to automatically infer and analyze the creditworthiness
of potential corporate clients. The inferred posterior class probabilities of bankruptcy are then used to analyze
the sensitivity of the classifier output with respect to the given inputs and to assist in the credit assignment decision
making process. The suggested nonlinear kernel based classifiers yield better performances than linear discriminant
analysis and logistic regression when applied to a real-life data set concerning commercial credit granting to mid-cap
Belgian and Dutch firms.
2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
From Author:
Abstract
Corporate credit granting is a key commercial activity of financial institutions nowadays. A critical first step in the
credit granting process usually involves a careful financial analysis of the creditworthiness of the potential client. Wrong
decisions result either in foregoing valuable clients or, more severely, in substantial capital losses if the client subsequently
defaults. It is thus of crucial importance to develop models that estimate the probability of corporate bankruptcy
with a high degree of accuracy. Many studies focused on the use of financial ratios in linear statistical
models, such as linear discriminant analysis and logistic regression. However, the obtained error rates are often high.
In this paper, Least Squares Support Vector Machine (LS-SVM) classifiers, also known as kernel Fisher discriminant
analysis, are applied within the Bayesian evidence framework in order to automatically infer and analyze the creditworthiness
of potential corporate clients. The inferred posterior class probabilities of bankruptcy are then used to analyze
the sensitivity of the classifier output with respect to the given inputs and to assist in the credit assignment decision
making process. The suggested nonlinear kernel based classifiers yield better performances than linear discriminant
analysis and logistic regression when applied to a real-life data set concerning commercial credit granting to mid-cap
Belgian and Dutch firms.
2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Published by: Ahmad Khaliq on Oct 22, 2013
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