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Title: A credit scoring model based on classifiers consensus system approach
Author: Ala'raj, Maher A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 0036
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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Managing customer credit is an important issue for each commercial bank; therefore, banks take great care when dealing with customer loans to avoid any improper decisions that can lead to loss of opportunity or financial losses. The manual estimation of customer creditworthiness has become both time- and resource-consuming. Moreover, a manual approach is subjective (dependable on the bank employee who gives this estimation), which is why devising and implementing programming models that provide loan estimations is the only way of eradicating the ‘human factor’ in this problem. This model should give recommendations to the bank in terms of whether or not a loan should be given, or otherwise can give a probability in relation to whether the loan will be returned. Nowadays, a number of models have been designed, but there is no ideal classifier amongst these models since each gives some percentage of incorrect outputs; this is a critical consideration when each percent of incorrect answer can mean millions of dollars of losses for large banks. However, the LR remains the industry standard tool for credit-scoring models development. For this purpose, an investigation is carried out on the combination of the most efficient classifiers in credit-scoring scope in an attempt to produce a classifier that exceeds each of its classifiers or components. In this work, a fusion model referred to as ‘the Classifiers Consensus Approach’ is developed, which gives a lot better performance than each of single classifiers that constitute it. The difference of the consensus approach and the majority of other combiners lie in the fact that the consensus approach adopts the model of real expert group behaviour during the process of finding the consensus (aggregate) answer. The consensus model is compared not only with single classifiers, but also with traditional combiners and a quite complex combiner model known as the ‘Dynamic Ensemble Selection’ approach. As a pre-processing technique, step data-filtering (select training entries which fits input data well and remove outliers and noisy data) and feature selection (remove useless and statistically insignificant features which values are low correlated with real quality of loan) are used. These techniques are valuable in significantly improving the consensus approach results. Results clearly show that the consensus approach is statistically better (with 95% confidence value, according to Friedman test) than any other single classifier or combiner analysed; this means that for similar datasets, there is a 95% guarantee that the consensus approach will outperform all other classifiers. The consensus approach gives not only the best accuracy, but also better AUC value, Brier score and H-measure for almost all datasets investigated in this thesis. Moreover, it outperformed Logistic Regression. Thus, it has been proven that the use of the consensus approach for credit-scoring is justified and recommended in commercial banks. Along with the consensus approach, the dynamic ensemble selection approach is analysed, the results of which show that, under some conditions, the dynamic ensemble selection approach can rival the consensus approach. The good sides of dynamic ensemble selection approach include its stability and high accuracy on various datasets. The consensus approach, which is improved in this work, may be considered in banks that hold the same characteristics of the datasets used in this work, where utilisation could decrease the level of mistakenly rejected loans of solvent customers, and the level of mistakenly accepted loans that are never to be returned. Furthermore, the consensus approach is a notable step in the direction of building a universal classifier that can fit data with any structure. Another advantage of the consensus approach is its flexibility; therefore, even if the input data is changed due to various reasons, the consensus approach can be easily re-trained and used with the same performance.
Supervisor: Abbod, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classification ; Data filtiring ; Feature selection ; Hybrid models ; Classifiers ensembles