Forecasting tourism demand by extracting fuzzy Takagi–Sugeno rules from trained SVMs

X. Xu, Chun Hung Roberts Law, W. Chen, L. Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Tourism demand forecasting has attracted substantial interest because of the significant economic contributions of the fast-growing tourism industry. Although various quantitative forecasting techniques have been widely studied, highly accurate and understandable forecasting models have not been developed. The present paper proposes a novel tourism demand forecasting method that extracts fuzzy Takagi–Sugeno (T–S) rules from trained SVMs. Unlike previous approaches, this study uses fuzzy T–S models extracted from the outputs of trained SVMs on tourism data. Owing to the symbolic fuzzy rules and the generalization ability of SVMs, the extracted fuzzy T–S rules exhibit high forecasting accuracy and include understandable pre-condition parts for practitioners. Based on the tourism demand forecasting problem in Hong Kong SAR, China as a case study, empirical findings on tourist arrivals from nine overseas origins reveal that the proposed approach performs comparably with SVMs and can achieve better prediction accuracy than other forecasting techniques for most origins. The findings demonstrated that decision makers can easily interpret fuzzy T–S rules extracted from SVMs. Thus, the approach is highly beneficial to tourism market management. This finding demonstrates the excellent scientific and practical values of the proposed approach in tourism demand forecasting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-42
Number of pages13
JournalCAAI Transactions on Intelligence Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Fuzzy modeling
  • Rule extraction
  • Support vector machines
  • Tourism demand forecasting

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