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Instance sampling in credit scoring: An empirical study of sample size and balancing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Forecasting
Issue number1
Volume28
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)224-238
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

To date, best practice in sampling credit applicants has been established based largely on expert opinion, which generally recommends that small samples of 1500 instances each of both goods and bads are sufficient, and that the heavily biased datasets observed should be balanced by undersampling the majority class. Consequently, the topics of sample sizes and sample balance have not been subject to either formal study in credit scoring, or empirical evaluations across different data conditions and algorithms of varying efficiency. This paper describes an empirical study of instance sampling in predicting consumer repayment behaviour, evaluating the relative accuracies of logistic regression, discriminant analysis, decision trees and neural networks on two datasets across 20 samples of increasing size and 29 rebalanced sample distributions created by gradually under- and over-sampling the goods and bads respectively. The paper makes a practical contribution to model building on credit scoring datasets, and provides evidence that using samples larger than those recommended in credit scoring practice provides a significant increase in accuracy across algorithms.