Recent methods from statistics and machine learning for credit scoring [thesis]

Anne Kraus
Credit scoring models are the basis for financial institutions like retail and consumer credit banks. The purpose of the models is to evaluate the likelihood of credit applicants defaulting in order to decide whether to grant them credit. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) is one of the most commonly used measures to evaluate predictive performance in credit scoring. The aim of this thesis is to benchmark different methods for building scoring models in order
more » ... to maximize the AUC. While this measure is used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the presented algorithms, the AUC is especially introduced as direct optimization criterion. The logistic regression model is the most widely used method for creating credit scorecards and classifying applicants into risk classes. Since this development process, based on the logit model, is standard in the retail banking practice, the predictive accuracy of this proceeding is used for benchmark reasons throughout this thesis. The AUC approach is a main task introduced within this work. Instead of using the maximum likelihood estimation, the AUC is considered as objective function to optimize it directly. The coefficients are estimated by calculating the AUC measure with Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney and by using the Nelder-Mead algorithm for the optimization. The AUC optimization denotes a distribution-free approach, which is analyzed within a simulation study for investigating the theoretical considerations. It can be shown that the approach still works even if the underlying distribution is not logistic. In addition to the AUC approach and classical well-known methods like generalized additive models, new methods from statistics and machine learning are evaluated for the credit scoring case. Conditional inference trees, model-based recursive partitioning methods and random forests are presented as recursive partitioning algorithms. Boosting algorithms are also explored by additionally using the AUC as a loss function. The empirical evaluation [...]
doi:10.5282/edoc.17143 fatcat:zvexutvbc5frlkbjp5ph2zijqe