Published by Pergamon Press for Operational Research Society
Journal of the Operational research society vol:60 issue:8 pages:1096-1106
Companies’ interest in customer relationship modelling and key issues such as customer lifetime value and churn has substantially increased over the years. However, the complexity of building, interpreting and applying these models creates obstacles for their implementation. The main contribution of this paper is to show how domain knowledge can be incorporated in the data mining process for churn prediction, viz. through the evaluation of coefficient signs in a logistic regression model, and secondly, by analysing a decision table (DT) extracted from a decision tree or rule-based classifier. An algorithm to check DTs for violations of monotonicity constraints is presented, which involves the repeated application of condition reordering and table contraction to detect counter-intuitive patterns. Both approaches are applied to two telecom data sets to empirically demonstrate how domain knowledge can be used to ensure the interpretability of the resulting models.