Assessing naive Bayes as a method for screening credit applicants
A. C. Antonakis
M. E. Sfakianakis
The naive Bayes rule (NBR) is a popular and often highly effective technique for constructing classification rules. This study examines the effectiveness of NBR as a method for constructing classification rules (credit scorecards) in the context of screening credit applicants (credit scoring). For this purpose, the study uses two real-world credit scoring data sets to benchmark NBR against linear discriminant analysis, logistic regression analysis, k-nearest neighbours, classification trees and neural networks. Of the two aforementioned data sets, the first one is taken from a major Greek bank whereas the second one is the Australian Credit Approval data set taken from the UCI Machine Learning Repository (available at http://www.ics.uci.edu/~mlearn/MLRepository.html). The predictive ability of scorecards is measured by the total percentage of correctly classified cases, the Gini coefficient and the bad rate amongst accepts. In each of the data sets, NBR is found to have a lower predictive ability than some of the other five methods under all measures used. Reasons that may negatively affect the predictive ability of NBR relative to that of alternative methods in the context of credit scoring are examined.
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