This study investigates the efficacy of applying support vector machines (SVM) to bankruptcy prediction problem. Although it is a well-known fact that the back-propagation neural network (BPN) performs well in pattern recognition tasks, the method has some limitations in that it is an art to find an appropriate model structure and optimal solution. Furthermore, loading as many of the training set as possible into the network is needed to search the weights of the network. On the other hand, since SVM captures geometric characteristics of feature space without deriving weights of networks from the training data, it is capable of extracting the optimal solution with the small training set size. In this study, we show that the proposed classifier of SVM approach outperforms BPN to the problem of corporate bankruptcy prediction. The results demonstrate that the accuracy and generalization performance of SVM is better than that of BPN as the training set size gets smaller. We also examine the effect of the variability in performance with respect to various values of parameters in SVM. In addition, we investigate and summarize the several superior points of the SVM algorithm compared with BPN.
- Bankruptcy prediction
- Support vector machines