Forecasting Store Foot Traffic Using Facial Recognition, Time Series and Support Vector Machines
In this paper, we explore data collected in a pilot project that used a digital camera and facial recognition to detect foot traffic to a sports store. Using a time series approach, we model daily incoming store traffic under three classes (all faces, female, male) and compare six forecasting approaches, including Holt-Winters (HW), a Support Vector Machine (SVM) and a HW-SVM hybrid that includes other data features (e.g., weather conditions). Several experiments were held, under a robust rolling windows scheme that considers up to one week ahead predictions and two metrics (predictive error and estimated store benefit). Overall, competitive results were achieved by the SVM (all faces), HW (female) and HW-SVM (male) methods, which can potentially lead to valuable gains (e.g., enhancing store marketing or human resource management).
KeywordsData mining Facial recognition Time series forecasting Support vector machine
This work has been supported by COMPETE: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007043 and FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the Project Scope: UID/CEC/00319/2013.
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