title: | Support vector machines in ordinal classification |

author: | Harmen J. Dikkers |

published in: | August 2005 |

appeared as: |
Master of Science thesis Man-machine interaction group Delft University of Technology |

PDF (2449 KB) |

### Abstract

Risk assessment of credit portfolios is of pivotal importance in the banking
industry. The bank that has the most accurate view of its credit risk will
be the most profitable. One of the main pillars in assessing credit risk is
the estimated *probability of default* of each counterparty, i.e., the
probability that a counterparty cannot meet its payment obligations in the
horizon of one year. A *credit rating system* takes several
characteristics of a counterparty as inputs, and assigns this counterparty
to a rating class. In essence, this system is a classifier whose classes lie
on an ordinal scale.

This thesis provides an extensive assessment of the ABN AMRO credit rating
system. The current rating tool, an expert system, is carefully reviewed. We
show that this system has several drawbacks in both its mathematical
fundamentals and its implementation. We propose a new credit rating
framework, which incorporates an improved version of the current model.

Aside from this expert system, we applied linear regression, ordinal
logistic regression, and support vector machine techniques to the credit
rating problem. The latter technique is a relatively new machine learning
technique that was originally designed for the two-class problem. We propose
two new techniques that incorporate the ordinal character of the credit
rating problem into support vector machines. We show that the current rating
model used at ABN AMRO performs in line with statistical and support vector
machine techniques. The results of our newly introduced techniques are
promising.