Stacking Ensemble Approach for Churn Prediction: Integrating CNN and Machine Learning Models with CatBoost Meta-Learner Manuscript Received: 22 June 2023, Accepted: 1 August 2023, Published: 15 September 2023, ORCiD: 0000-0002-3781-6623,

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Yan Lin Tan
Ying Han Pang
Shih Yin Ooi
Wee How Khoh
Fu San Hiew


In the telecom industry, predicting customer churn is crucial for improving customer retention. In literature, the use of single classifiers is predominantly focused. Customer data is complex data due to class imbalance and contain multiple factors that exhibit nonlinear dependencies. In these complex scenarios, single classifiers may be unable to fully utilize the available information to capture the underlying interactions effectively. In contrast, ensemble learning that combines various base classifiers empowers a more thorough data analysis, leading to improved prediction performance.  In this paper, a heterogeneous ensemble model is proposed for churn prediction in the telecom industry. The model involves exploratory data analysis, data pre-processing and data resampling to handle class imbalance. In this proposed model, multiple trained base classifiers with different characteristics are integrated through a stacking ensemble technique. Specifically, convolutional-based neural network, logistic regression, decision tree and Support Vector Machine (SVM) are considered as the base classifiers in this work. The proposed stacking ensemble model utilizes the unique strengths of each base classifier and leverages collective knowledge to improve prediction performance with a meta-learner. The efficacy of the proposed model is assessed on a real-world dataset, i.e., Cell2Cell. The empirical results demonstrate the superiority of the proposed model in churn prediction with 62.4 % f1-score and 60.62 % recall.

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