SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DETERMINING A PROPENSITY OF ENTITY TO TAKE A SPECIFIED ACTION

Systems and methods are disclosed for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action. In accordance with one implementation, a method is provided for determining the propensity. The method includes, for example, accessing one or more data sources, the one or more data sources including information associated with the entity, forming a record associated with the entity by integrating the information from the one or more data sources, generating, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity, processing the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action, and outputting the propensity.

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Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/027,761, filed on Jul. 22, 2014, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/039,305, filed on Aug. 19, 2014, the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

The amount of information being processed and stored is rapidly increasing as technology advances present an ever-increasing ability to generate and store data. On the one hand, this vast amount of data allows entities to perform more detailed analyses than ever. But on the other hand, the vast amount of data makes it more difficult for entities to quickly sort through and determine the most relevant features of the data. Collecting, classifying, and analyzing large sets of data in an appropriate manner allows these entities to more quickly and efficiently identify patterns, thereby allowing them to predict future actions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary computer system, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a flowchart of an exemplary method for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart of an exemplary method for creating a model to determine the propensity of an entity to take a specified action, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 provides an exemplary use case scenario for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action applied to an exemplary data structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary user interface, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 6 illustrates another exemplary user interface, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to several exemplary embodiments, including those illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Whenever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

Embodiments disclosed herein are directed to, among other things, to systems and methods that can determine the propensity of an entity (e.g., a person, a household, or a company) to take a specified action. For example, a specific action can involve determining the propensity that a customer will leave a supplier during a given time period (e.g., churn). Such factors that can affect the churn rate include customer dissatisfaction, cheaper and/or better offers from the competition, more successful sales and/or marketing by the competition, or reasons having to do with the customer life cycle. If a supplier can receive an indication that a customer is likely to churn, the supplier can take one or more actions in order to keep the customer. The embodiments disclosed herein can assist with providing that indication.

For example, the systems and methods can access one or more data sources, the one or more data sources including information associated with the entity, form a record associated with the entity by integrating the information from the one or more data sources, generate, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity, process the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action, and output the propensity.

The operations, techniques, and/or components described herein are implemented by a computer system, which can include one or more special-purpose computing devices. The special-purpose computing devices can be hard-wired to perform the operations, techniques, and/or components described herein. The special-purpose computing devices can include digital electronic devices such as one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) or field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) that are persistently programmed to perform the operations, techniques, and/or components described herein. The special-purpose computing devices can include one or more hardware processors programmed to perform such features of the present disclosure pursuant to program instructions in firmware, memory, other storage, or a combination. Such special-purpose computing devices can combine custom hard-wired logic, ASICs, or FPGAs with custom programming to accomplish the techniques and other features of the present disclosure. The special-purpose computing devices can be desktop computer systems, portable computer systems, handheld devices, networking devices, or any other device that incorporates hard-wired and/or program logic to implement the techniques and other features of the present disclosure.

The one or more special-purpose computing devices can be generally controlled and coordinated by operating system software, such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, Chrome OS, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows CE, Unix, Linux, SunOS, Solaris, VxWorks, or other compatible operating systems. In other embodiments, the computing device can be controlled by a proprietary operating system. Operating systems control and schedule computer processes for execution, perform memory management, provide file system, networking, I/O services, and provide a user interface functionality, such as a graphical user interface (“GUI”), among other things.

By way of example, FIG. 1 is a block diagram that illustrates an implementation of a computer system 100, which, as described above, can comprise one or more electronic devices. Computer system 100 includes a bus 102 or other communication mechanism for communicating information, and one or more hardware processors 104 (denoted as processor 104 for purposes of simplicity), coupled with bus 102 for processing information. One or more hardware processors 104 can be, for example, one or more microprocessors.

Computer system 100 also includes a main memory 106, such as a random access memory (RAM) or other dynamic storage device, coupled to bus 102 for storing information and instructions to be executed by one or more processors 104. Main memory 106 also can be used for storing temporary variables or other intermediate information during execution of instructions to be executed by processor 104. Such instructions, when stored in non-transitory storage media accessible to one or more processors 104, render computer system 100 into a special-purpose machine that is customized to perform the operations specified in the instructions.

Computer system 100 further includes a read only memory (ROM) 108 or other static storage device coupled to bus 102 for storing static information and instructions for processor 104. A storage device 110, such as a magnetic disk, optical disk, or USB thumb drive (Flash drive), etc., is provided and coupled to bus 102 for storing information and instructions.

Computer system 100 can be coupled via bus 102 to a display 112, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT), an LCD display, or a touchscreen, for displaying information to a computer user. An input device 114, including alphanumeric and other keys, is coupled to bus 102 for communicating information and command selections to one or more processors 104. Another type of user input device is cursor control 116, such as a mouse, a trackball, or cursor direction keys for communicating direction information and command selections to one or more processors 104 and for controlling cursor movement on display 112. The input device typically has two degrees of freedom in two axes, a first axis (for example, x) and a second axis (for example, y), that allows the device to specify positions in a plane. In some embodiments, the same direction information and command selections as cursor control may be implemented via receiving touches on a touch screen without a cursor.

Computer system 100 can include a user interface module to implement a GUI that may be stored in a mass storage device as executable software codes that are executed by the one or more computing devices. This and other modules may include, by way of example, components, such as software components, object-oriented software components, class components and task components, processes, functions, attributes, procedures, subroutines, segments of program code, drivers, firmware, microcode, circuitry, data, databases, data structures, tables, arrays, and variables.

In general, the word “module,” as used herein, refers to logic embodied in hardware or firmware, or to a collection of software instructions, possibly having entry and exit points, written in a programming language, such as, for example, Java, Lua, C, and C++. A software module can be compiled and linked into an executable program, installed in a dynamic link library, or written in an interpreted programming language such as, for example, BASIC, Perl, Python, or Pig. It will be appreciated that software modules can be callable from other modules or from themselves, and/or can be invoked in response to detected events or interrupts. Software modules configured for execution on computing devices can be provided on a computer readable medium, such as a compact disc, digital video disc, flash drive, magnetic disc, or any other tangible medium, or as a digital download (and can be originally stored in a compressed or installable format that requires installation, decompression, or decryption prior to execution). Such software code can be stored, partially or fully, on a memory device of the executing computing device, for execution by the computing device. Software instructions can be embedded in firmware, such as an EPROM. It will be further appreciated that hardware modules can be comprised of connected logic units, such as gates and flip-flops, and/or can be comprised of programmable units, such as programmable gate arrays or processors. The modules or computing device functionality described herein are preferably implemented as software modules, but can be represented in hardware or firmware. Generally, the modules described herein refer to logical modules that may be combined with other modules or divided into sub-modules despite their physical organization or storage.

Computer system 100 can implement the techniques and other features described herein using customized hard-wired logic, one or more ASICs or FPGAs, firmware and/or program logic which in combination with the electronic device causes or programs computer system 100 to be a special-purpose machine. According to some embodiments, the techniques and other features described herein are performed by computer system 100 in response to one or more processors 104 executing one or more sequences of one or more instructions contained in main memory 106. Such instructions can be read into main memory 106 from another storage medium, such as storage device 110. Execution of the sequences of instructions contained in main memory 106 causes one or more processors 104 to perform the process steps described herein. In alternative embodiments, hard-wired circuitry can be used in place of or in combination with software instructions.

The term “non-transitory media” as used herein refers to any media storing data and/or instructions that cause a machine to operate in a specific fashion. Such non-transitory media can comprise non-volatile media and/or volatile media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, optical or magnetic disks, such as storage device 150. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as main memory 106. Common forms of non-transitory media include, for example, a floppy disk, a flexible disk, hard disk, solid state drive, magnetic tape, or any other magnetic data storage medium, a CD-ROM, any other optical data storage medium, any physical medium with patterns of holes, a RAM, a PROM, and EPROM, a FLASH-EPROM, NVRAM, any other memory chip or cartridge, a register memory, a processor cache, and networked versions of the same.

Non-transitory media is distinct from, but can be used in conjunction with, transmission media. Transmission media participates in transferring information between storage media. For example, transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire and fiber optics, including the wires that comprise bus 102. Transmission media can also take the form of acoustic or light waves, such as those generated during radio-wave and infra-red data communications.

Various forms of media can be involved in carrying one or more sequences of one or more instructions to one or more processors 104 for execution. For example, the instructions can initially be carried on a magnetic disk or solid state drive of a remote computer. The remote computer can load the instructions into its dynamic memory and send the instructions over a telephone line using a modem. A modem local to computer system 100 can receive the data on the telephone line and use an infra-red transmitter to convert the data to an infra-red signal. An infra-red detector can receive the data carried in the infra-red signal and appropriate circuitry can place the data on bus 102. Bus 102 carries the data to main memory 106, from which processor 104 retrieves and executes the instructions. The instructions received by main memory 106 can optionally be stored on storage device 110 either before or after execution by one or more processors 104.

Computer system 100 can also include a communication interface 118 coupled to bus 102. Communication interface 118 can provide a two-way data communication coupling to a network link 120 that is connected to a local network 122. For example, communication interface 118 can be an integrated services digital network (ISDN) card, cable modem, satellite modem, or a modem to provide a data communication connection to a corresponding type of telephone line. As another example, communication interface 118 can be a local area network (LAN) card to provide a data communication connection to a compatible LAN. Wireless links can also be implemented. In any such implementation, communication interface 118 can send and receive electrical, electromagnetic, or optical signals that carry digital data streams representing various types of information.

Network link 120 can typically provide data communication through one or more networks to other data devices. For example, network link 120 can provide a connection through local network 122 to a host computer 124 or to data equipment operated by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) 126. ISP 126 in turn provides data communication services through the world wide packet data communication network now commonly referred to as the “Internet” 128. Local network 122 and Internet 128 both use electrical, electromagnetic, or optical signals that carry digital data streams. The signals through the various networks and the signals on network link 120 and through communication interface 118, which carry the digital data to and from electronic device 110, are example forms of transmission media.

Computer system 100 can send messages and receive data, including program code, through the network(s), network link 120 and communication interface 118. In the Internet example, a server 130 might transmit a requested code for an application program through Internet 128, ISP 126, local network 122 and communication interface 118. The received code can be executed by one or more processors 104 as it is received, and/or stored in storage device 110, or other non-volatile storage for later execution.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart representing an exemplary method 200 for determining the propensity of an entity to take a specified action. While the flowchart discloses the following steps in a particular order, it is appreciated that at least some of the steps can be moved, modified, or deleted where appropriate, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, method 200 can be performed in full or in part by a computer system (e.g., computer system 100). It is appreciated that some of these steps can be performed in full or in part by other systems.

Referring to FIG. 2, at step 210, the computer system can access one or more data sources that include information associated with the entity. The one or more data sources can be stored locally at the computer system and/or at one or more remote servers (e.g., such as a remote database), or at one or more other remote devices. In some embodiments, the information in the data sources can be stored in one or more multidimensional tables. By way of example, information of a first type (e.g., bill payment amount) associated with the entity, (e.g., a household), can be stored in a first multidimensional table and information of a second type (e.g., automobile type) associated with the entity can be stored in a second multidimensional table. In some embodiments a table can contain information associated with a single entity. In other embodiments, a table can store information associated with a plurality of entities. For example, each row in the table can correspond to a different entity (e.g., Household #1, Household #2, etc.) and each column in the table can correspond to a payment amount. In some embodiments, the information stored in the table can include entries associated with a temporal period. For example, a table can store a bill payment date for each bill payment amount. The information can be stored as a continuous value (e.g., $800 as a bill payment amount), as a categorical value (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe” as an automobile type), as textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, a table can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a row-oriented table can contain information associated with an entity (e.g., Household #1) and data in the row can be stored serially such that information associated with the entity can be accessed in one operation.

In some embodiments the computer system can access the one or more data sources periodically (e.g., once a week, once a month, etc.). The computer system can access the one or more data sources based on the one or more data sources being updated (e.g., a new entry, such as payment bill amount, is added to a table). In some embodiments, the computer system can access the one or more data sources responsive to an input received from the user. The user input can identify the entity (e.g. Household #5) for which information is requested. In some embodiments, the user input can identify a category or class of entities. For example, the user input can identify a class of entities that are all consumers of a specified provisioning entity (e.g., insurance company), the user input can identify entities that are located within a specified geographic region (e.g., all households within the state of Illinois), or the user input can identify any other category of entities (e.g., all households with an income over $100,000). In response to the user input, the computer system can access the one or more data sources including information associated with the entities. In some embodiments, method 200 can be performed periodically (e.g., once a week, once a month, etc.). In some embodiments, method 200 can be performed whenever the one or more data sources are accessed.

At step 220, the computer system can form a record including all information from the one or more data sources associated with the entity. In some embodiments, the record can be formed by integrating the information that is associated with the entity from the one or more data sources. The record can contain a multitude of information related to the entity. For example, the record can contain all information from the one or more data sources associated with a household (e.g., number of members in household, age of each member of the household, number of automobiles, income, monthly bill mounts for each automobile, types of automobiles, etc.). In some embodiments, the record can be stored as a cogroup (e.g., the cogroup shown in FIG. 4). In some embodiments, the record can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a row-oriented record can be associated with a data source (e.g., bill payment amount) and data in the row can be stored serially such that data associated with that data source can be accessed in one operation.

At step 230, the computer system can filter the record for information associated with the specified action. For example, the specified action can be churn (e.g., cancellation of a subscription) and the computer system can filter the record for information related to churn. In some embodiments, the computer system can provide context for the specified action. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine whether the specified action will likely occur within a specified temporal period (e.g., one month). The computer system can filter out all information associated with a time that is outside (e.g., before or after) the specified temporal period. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine the propensity for the specified action based on only recent events. For example, the computer system can filter out information associated with a time before the specified time period (e.g., stale or less relevant information). In some embodiments, each record can be filtered in a slightly different way. The record can be filtered according to a user input specifying an activity or temporal period. In some embodiments, the record can be filtered automatically based on a presetting (e.g., the computer can be configured to filter out all information that is more than one year old).

At step 240, the computer system can generate, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity. A feature can be any discernable way of sorting or classifying the record (e.g., average value, most recent value, most common value, etc.). In some embodiments, the computer system can generate key value pairs, wherein each key value pair contains a feature and a value. For example, the computer system can generate features such as “average bill payment amount”, “average income”, “average number of automobiles”, etc. and corresponding values such as “$670”, “$73K”, “2.3 cars”, etc. In some embodiments, features can be associated with a time value. For example, computer system can generate features for a specified temporal period (e.g., features can be based only on the most recent values). Feature values can be represented as a continuous value (e.g., $670), as a categorical value (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe”), as a textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, feature values can be classified as weighted values. For example, a household income of $73,000 can be represented as weighted value of {0.27 0}, {0.73 100000}.

At step 250, the computer system can process the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action. In some embodiments, the propensity can be determined by applying a trained model, such as the model described in greater detail in FIG. 3. The input to the model can be key value pairs of the one or more features associated with the entity and the specified actions and the output of the model can be the propensity of the entity to take the specified action. In some embodiments, processing the one or more features associated with the entity can result in a multitude of useful insights regarding the features that influence the propensity of the entity to take the specified action. Such insights, can include, for example, the features that are most influential on the propensity of the entity to take the specified action (e.g., change in income, etc.).

At step 260, the computer system can output the propensity. In some embodiments the computer system can output the propensity as a continuous value, such as a number or percentage (e.g., 80 or 80%) or as a categorical value (e.g., “low”, “medium”, or “high”). In some embodiments, the computer system can generate a user interface, such as the user interfaces described in greater detail in FIGS. 5 and 6 for displaying the propensity. In some embodiments, the computer system can output a plurality of propensities for a plurality of entities. The computer system can output the plurality of propensities as an a separate file (e.g., a text file or an Excel file) or as a table.

FIG. 3 shows a flowchart representing an exemplary method 300 for creating a model to determine the propensity of an entity to take a specified action, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. While the flowchart discloses the following steps in a particular order, it is appreciated that at least some of the steps can be moved, modified, or deleted where appropriate, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, method 300 can be performed in full or in part by a computer system (e.g., computer system 100). It is appreciated that some of these steps can be performed in full or in part by other systems.

Referring to FIG. 3, at step 310, the computer system can access one or more data sources that include information associated with the plurality of entities. The one or more data sources can be stored locally at the computer system and/or at one or more remote servers (e.g., such as a remote database), or at one or more other remote devices. In some embodiments, the information in the data sources can be stored in one or more multidimensional tables. By way of example, information of a first type (e.g., bill payment amount) associated with the plurality of entities, (e.g., households), can be stored in a first multidimensional table and information of a second type (e.g., automobile type) associated with the entities can be stored in a second multidimensional table. In some embodiments a plurality of table can contain information associated with the plurality of entities, wherein each table contains information associated with each entity. In other embodiments, a table can store information associated with a plurality of entities. For example, each row in the table can correspond to a different entity (e.g., Household #1, Household #2, etc.) and each column in the table can correspond to a payment amount. In some embodiments, the information stored in a table can include entries associated with a temporal period. For example, a table can store a bill payment date for each bill payment amount. The information can be stored as a continuous value (e.g., $800 as a bill payment amount), as a categorical value, (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe” as an automobile type), as textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, a table can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a row-oriented table can contain information associated with an entity (e.g., Household #1) and data in the row can be stored serially such that information associated with the entity can be accessed in one operation.

In some embodiments the computer system can access the one or more data sources periodically (e.g., once a week, once a month, etc.). In other embodiments, the computer system can access the one or more data sources based on the one or more data sources being updated (e.g., a new entry, such as payment bill amount, is added to a table). In some embodiments, the computer system can access the one or more data sources responsive to an input received from the user. In some embodiments, the user input can specifically identify the plurality of entities (e.g., Household #1-#10,000) for use in generating the model. In some embodiments, the user input can identify a category or class of entities. For example, the user input can identify a class of entities that are all consumers of a specified provisioning entity (e.g., insurance company), the user input can identify entities that are located within a specified geographic region (e.g., all households within the state of Illinois), or the user input can identify any other category of entities (e.g., all households with an income over $100,000). In response to a user input, the computer system can access the one or more data sources including information associated with the plurality of entities.

At step 320, the computer system can form a plurality of records including information from the one or more data sources associated with the plurality of entities, each record being associated with an entity. In some embodiments, a record of the plurality of records can be formed by integrating information from the one or more data sources information that is associated with an entity of the plurality of entities. The record can contain a multitude of information related to the entity. For example, the record can contain all information from the one or more data sources associated with a household (e.g., number of members in household, number of automobiles, income, monthly bill amounts for each automobile, etc.). In some embodiments, the record can be stored as a cogroup (e.g., the cogroup shown in FIG. 4). In some embodiments, the record can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a record can be associated with a data source (e.g., bill payment amount) and data in the row can be stored serially such that data associated with that data source can be accessed in one operation.

At step 330, the computer system can filter the plurality of records for information associated with the specified action. For example, the specified action can be churn (e.g., cancellation or non-renewal of a subscription) and the computer system can filter the record for information related to churn. In some embodiments, the computer system can provide context for (e.g., frame) the specified action. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine whether the specified action will occur within a specified temporal period (e.g., one month). The computer system can filter out all information associated with a time that is outside (e.g., before or after) the specified temporal period. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine the propensity for the specified action based on only recent information. For example, the computer system can filter out information associated with a time before the specified temporal period (e.g., stale or less relevant information). In some embodiments, each record can be filtered in a slightly different way. A record can be filtered according to a user input specifying an activity or temporal period. In some embodiments, the record can be filtered automatically based on a presetting (e.g., the computer can be configured to filter out all information that is more than one year old).

The computer system can frame the record by associating a label with the record. In some embodiments, the label can represent whether the entity took the specified action within the specified temporal period. For example, the computer system can associate a label of “1” or “true” if the entity took the specified action within the specified temporal period. By way of example, in the context of the cancellation of a subscription, the computer system can keep data from time period A to B (e.g., the specified temporal period) and determine whether the entity cancelled the subscription within a second time period, T. In this example, if the entity cancelled the subscription in time period T, the computer system can associate a label with the record indicating that the entity took the specified action.

At step 340, the computer system can create, for each record, a labelled example by generating one or more features associated with an entity of the plurality of entities. A feature can be any discernable way of sorting or classifying the record (e.g., average value, most recent value, most common value, etc.). In some embodiments, the computer system 340 can generate key value pairs, wherein each key value pair contains a feature and a value. For example, the computer system can generate features such as “average bill payment amount”, “average income”, “average number of automobiles”, etc. and corresponding values such as “$670”, “$73K”, “2.3 cars”, etc. In some embodiments, features can be associated with a time value. For example, computer system can generate features for a specified temporal period (e.g., features can be based only on the most recent values). Feature values can be represented as a continuous value (e.g., $670), as a categorical value (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe”), as a textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, feature values can be classified as weighted values. For example, a household income of $73,000 can be represented as weighted value of {0.27 0}, {0.73 100000}. In some embodiments, the labelled example can include the key value feature pairs and the record label (e.g., whether the entity took the specified action).

At step 350, the computer system can select a subset of the plurality of labelled examples to train a model. In some embodiments, the subset can be created by randomly sampling the plurality of labelled examples. A random sample can allow for broader generalization of the model created at step 360. In some embodiments, the user can select the subset of labelled examples. For example, the user can select all entities with a particular feature (e.g., all households with at least 2 cars). In some embodiments, the subset can be created by sampling labelled examples with a wide range of values for features that are known to be more important (e.g., change in income).

At step 360, the computer system can train a model using the subset of labelled examples. For example, the model can be trained by generalizing a function that maps inputs (e.g., the one or more features) to outputs (e.g., the label, such as whether the specified action occurred). In some embodiments, the model can perform regressions for each feature simultaneously. In some embodiments, the model can be trained by a hyperparameter optimization algorithm. In some embodiments, the hyperparameter optimization algorithm can perform a grid search through a hyperparameter space for the optimal hyperparameters. In some embodiments, the hyperparameter algorithm can perform a random search through the hyperparameter space. The computer system can evaluate the hyperparameters against a holdout set of labelled examples. For example, the computer system can apply the model trained by hyperparameter optimization to the holdout set. In some embodiments, the computer system can retrain the model with different hyperparameters if a particular attribute (e.g., accuracy, area under the curve, log-likelihood, F1-score, Top N, etc.) of the model does not exceed a predetermined threshold. In some embodiments, the computer system can continue to retrain the model until it obtains hyperparameters that exceed the threshold value. In some embodiments, the computer system can train the model a predetermined number of times (e.g., 10). The computer system can evaluate the trained models against a holdout set and select the model with the most favorable attributes (e.g., accuracy, area under the curve, log-likelihood, F1-score, Top N, etc.).

At step 370, the computer system can output the model. In some embodiments, the model can be outputted to a user for future use. For example, a user can use the model to determine the propensity of an entity to take a specified action. In other embodiments, the computer system can output the model to be stored locally or to be transmitted to an external database. In some embodiments, the computer system can output the model for use in another method, such as the method described in FIG. 2, to determine the propensity of an entity to take a specified action. In some embodiments, the computer system can output confidence levels for the model. For example, the computer system can output the particular attribute (e.g., accuracy, area under the curve, log-likelihood, F1-score, Top N, etc.) of the model with respect to the examples in the holdout set.

FIG. 4 provides an exemplary use case scenario for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action applied to an exemplary data structure. While the flowchart discloses the following steps in a particular order, it is appreciated that at least some of the steps can be moved, modified, or deleted where appropriate, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, the use case scenario shown in FIG. 4 can be performed by a computer system (e.g., computer system 100). It is appreciated that some of these steps can be performed in full or in part by other systems.

Referring to FIG. 4, one or more data tables 410 acquired from one or more data sources can include information associated with the entity. The one or more data tables 410 can be stored locally at the computer system and/or at one or more remote servers (e.g., such as a remote database), or at one or more other remote devices. In some embodiments, the information in the data tables can be stored in one or more multidimensional tables. By way of example, as shown in FIG. 4, information of a first type (e.g., bill payment amount) associated with the entity, (e.g., a household), can be stored in a first multidimensional table 410 and information of a second type (e.g., income or number of cars) associated with the entity can be stored in a second multidimensional table 410. In some embodiments a table can contain information associated with a single entity. For example, Bill Amount table 410 shows the most recent bill payment amounts associated with the entity in this exemplary scenario. In other embodiments (not shown), a table can store information associated with a plurality of entities. For example, each row in the table can correspond to a different entity (e.g., Household #1, Household #2, etc.) and each column in the table can correspond to a payment amount. In some embodiments, the information stored in the table can include entries associated with a temporal period. For example, a table can store a bill payment date for each bill payment amount. As shown in FIG. 4, Bill Payment Table 410 can store dates in the first column (e.g., 1/1/14, 2/1/14, and 3/1/14). Each bill payment date can be associated with the bill payment amount. For example, Bill Payment Table 410 shows that an amount of $800 was billed to the household on Jan. 1, 2014. The information can be stored as a continuous value (e.g., $800 as a bill payment amount), as a categorical value, (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe” as an automobile type), as textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, a table can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a row-oriented table can contain information associated with an entity (e.g., Household #1) and data in the row can be stored serially such that information associated with the entity can be accessed in one operation.

The computer system can form (420) a record 430 including some or all information from the one or more data sources associated with the entity. In some embodiments, record 430 can be formed (420) by integrating the information from the one or more data sources that is associated with the entity. Record 430 can contain a multitude of information related to the entity. For example, record 430 can contain all information from the one or more data sources associated with a household (e.g., number of members in household, number of automobiles, income, monthly bill mounts for each automobile, etc.). In some embodiments, record 430 can be stored as a cogroup with each row of the cogroup associated with a different category of information. In some embodiments, record 430 can be stored in either a row-oriented database or a column-oriented database. For example, a row in a row-oriented record can be associated with a data source (e.g., bill payment amount) and data in the row can be stored serially such that data associated with that data source can be accessed in one operation. As shown in FIG. 4, the “Bill Amount” is stored as row in record 430. Bill amounts $800, $600, and $600 can be stored serially such that all of the payment amounts can be accessed in one operation. Similarly, “Income” and “Number of Cars” are stored in separate rows in record 430, and information from these sources (e.g. {$80K, $70K, $70K} and {3, 2, 2}) can also be accessed in one operation.

In some embodiments, the computer system can filter record 430 for information associated with the specified action (not shown). For example, the specified action can be churn (e.g., cancellation of a subscription) and the computer system can filter record 430 for information related to churn. In some embodiments, the computer system can provide context for the specified action. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine whether the specified action will occur within a specified temporal period (e.g., one month). The computer system can filter out all information associated with a time that is outside (e.g., before or after) the specified temporal period. In some embodiments, the computer system can determine the propensity for the specified action based on only recent events. For example, the computer system can filter out information associated with a time before the specified time period (e.g., stale or less relevant information). In some embodiments, each record can be filtered in a slightly different way. Record 430 can be filtered according to a user input specifying an activity or temporal period. In some embodiments, record 430 can be filtered automatically based on a presetting (e.g., the computer can be configured to filter out all information that is more than one year old). For example, the computer system can determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action based on only data from the previous month. In the example shown in FIG. 4, the computer system can filter out the older entries of Bill Amount table 410 (e.g., Bill Amounts of $800 and $600 corresponding to bill dates in January and February). The computer system can also filter out similar entries in Income and Number of Cars tables 410 (e.g., incomes of $80K and $70K and 3 and 2 number of cars). Thus, the computer system can use only the most recent entries to determine the propensity of the household to take the specified action (e.g., $600 in Bill Amount table 410, $70K in Income table 410, and 2 in Number of Cars table 410).

The computer system can generate (440), based on record 430, one or more features 450 associated with the entity. A feature can be any discernable way of sorting or classifying the record (e.g., average value, most recent value, most common value, etc.). In some embodiments, the computer system can generate key value pairs, wherein each key value pair contains a feature and a value. For example, the computer system can generate one or more features 450 such as “average bill payment amount”, “average income”, “average number of automobiles”, etc. and corresponding values such as “$670”, “$73K”, “2.3 cars”, etc. In some embodiments, the one or more features 450 can be associated with a time value. For example, computer system can generate features for a specified temporal period (e.g., features can be based only on the most recent values). Feature values can be represented as a continuous value (e.g., $670), as a categorical value (e.g., “Sedan” or “Coupe”), as a textual value, or as any other type of value. In some embodiments, the one or more feature 450 can be stored as classified as weighted values. For example, a household income of $73,000 can be represented as weighted value of {0.27 0}, {0.73 100000}.

In some embodiments, the one or more features can be extrapolated from the information contained in the record. For example, a feature can be that the entity deactivated online payments (e.g. customer deactivated ETF payment on 2/20). In some embodiments, the one or more features can be related to communications between the providing entity (e.g., insurance provider) and consuming entity (e.g., household). For example, computer system 100 can analyze (e.g., tokenize) the transcript of a call between an agent and a household and assign a topical value to that call (e.g., “topic 5” corresponding to anger). Computer system 100 can store this information as a feature pair (not shown), such as the pair {“Service Call Topic” “5”}. In some embodiments, the one or more features can be related to whether the household took a specified action (e.g., filed a claim or called to change policy).

In some embodiments, the computer system can process (460) the one or more features 450 to determine the propensity 470 of the entity to take the specified action. In some embodiments, the propensity 470 can be determined by applying a trained model, such as the model described in greater detail in FIG. 3. The input to the model can be key value pairs of the one or more features 450 associated with the entity and the specified actions and the output of the model can be the propensity 470 of the entity to take the specified action. In some embodiments, processing the one or more features associated with the entity can result in a multitude of useful insights regarding the features that influence the propensity of the entity to take the specified action. Such insights, can include, for example, the features that are most influential on the propensity of the entity to take the specified action (e.g., change in income, etc.).

In some embodiments, the computer system can output the propensity 470. In some embodiments, the computer system can output the propensity 470 as a continuous value, such as a number or percentage (e.g., 80 or 80%) or as a categorical value (e.g., “low”, “medium”, or “high”). In some embodiments, the computer system can generate a user interface, such as the user interfaces described in greater detail in FIGS. 5 and 6 for displaying the propensity 470.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary user interface 500 provided by a computer system (e.g., computer system 100) for display (e.g., display 122), in accordance with some embodiments. User interface 500 can include a plurality of tiles (e.g., tile 510), each tile representing an entity (e.g., a household). In some embodiments, tiles can be arranged according to the propensity of the entity to take the specified action. For example, entities that are more likely to take the specified action can be located near the top of the display, whereas entities that are less likely to take the specified action can be lower on the display. As shown in FIG. 5, in some embodiments, the tiles can be arranged by date (e.g., date 520). For example, entities with the most recent activities can be located near the top of the display. By way of example, tile 510 with the most recent date 520 of Feb. 21, 2014 is located in the top left corner of the display. The tile to the right of tile 510 has the next most recent date (e.g., Feb. 20, 2014). Subsequent tiles have dates that are less recent. In other embodiments, entities with the longest pending outstanding action can be located near the top of the screen.

In some embodiments, user interface 500 can be updated periodically (e.g., once a day, once a week, once a month, etc.). In other embodiments, user interface 500 can be updated when information associated with any of the entities stored in the one or more data sources is updated (e.g., a new entry, such as payment bill amount, is added to a table). In some embodiments, user interface 500 can update in response to an input received from the user.

User interface 500 can automatically determine the entities for which to generate the display. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can display entities associated with a particular user (e.g., John Smith, Triage Agent) once the user accesses user interface 500. In some embodiments, the user can specifically identify the entities for which to generate the display. In some embodiments, the user can identity a category or class of entities for which to generate the display. For example, the user can identify a class of entities that are all consumers of a specified provisioning entity (e.g., insurance company), the user input can identify entities that are located within a specified geographic region (e.g., all households within the state of Illinois), or the user input can identify any other category of entities (e.g., all households with an income over $100,000).

In some embodiments, user interface 500 can portray a date 520 (e.g., Feb. 21, 2014) associated with the entity in tile 510. Date 520 can correspond to the current date, the date that method 200 was last performed for that entity, the date that information in the one or more data sources associated with that entity was last updated, or the date that the user last viewed the tile associated with the entity. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can portray a propensity 540 of the entity to take the specified action (e.g., “Med”) in tile 510. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, user interface 500 can portray the propensity as a categorical value, such as “Med” in tile 510. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can portray tile 510 in a color (e.g., green for “low”, red for “high”, etc.) representing the propensity. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can portray the propensity in tile 510 as numerical value or as a percentage.

User interface 500 can portray recent activity 530 in tile 510. In some embodiments, the recent activity 530 can be entered by a user. By way of example, a recent activity could be that an “Agent called customer on 2/21 regarding discounts” as shown in tile 510. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can generate the recent activity based on the one or more features associated with the entity. For example, user interface 500 can display, “Customer registered an additional luxury vehicle on 2/18” in tile 510 responsive to this information being updated in the record associated with the entity. In some embodiments, tile 510 can portray important features 540 associated with the entity. For example, as shown in tile 510 of FIG. 5, these features can be “vehicle”, “discounts”, etc. In some embodiments, user interface 500 can recommend an action for the user to take (e.g., service call). In some embodiments, this recommendation can relate to the recent activity 530. A user can use this information to take preemptive action to prevent the entity from taking the specified action. By way of example, if the propensity of a household subscribing to an automobile insurance policy was high, the user could take remedial action (e.g., lower rate, contact customer to address customer concerns, etc.). In some embodiments user interface 500 can display a number uniquely identifying the entity (e.g., a policy number).

In some embodiments, user interface 500 can allow a user to click on tile 510 to access additional information associated with the entity. For example, a user can access user interface 600 shown in FIG. 6 below by clicking on one of the tiles shown in user interface 500 of FIG. 5. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can be inlaid over user interface 500. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can be a distinct user interface.

User interface 500 can also allow access to additional user interfaces (not shown) through the “INBOX,” “FLAGGED,” and “STATS” links shown at the top of user interface 500. The “INBOX” user interface can display messages between the user and other agents to track the remedial actions that were taken. The INBOX user interface can also be used to notify users of households with a higher likelihood of cancelling the subscription. The “FLAGGED” user interface can show customers (e.g., households) that the user believed were at risk for taking the specified action. For example, the FLAGGED user interface can contain a list of the households most likely to cancel their insurance policy. In some embodiments, these households can be selected manually by the user. In some embodiments, these households can be automatically populated if the propensity exceeds a predetermined threshold (e.g., the FLAGGED interface can be populated with all households with a “High” propensity). The FLAGGED user interface can allow the user to track remediation steps (e.g., contacting the household, changing policy, etc.). Households can remain in the FLAGGED user interface until their risk of taking the specified action has declined, the user has decided that the household is no longer at risk, or the specification action occurred (e.g., the household cancelled its subscription). The “STATS” interface can display metrics such as, for example, the rate at which the user was able to prevent the specified action from occurring categorized by action taken and the most common and/or trending issues.

FIG. 6 illustrates another exemplary user interface 600 provided by the computer system (e.g., computer system 100) for display (e.g., display 112) in accordance with some embodiments. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can be accessed by clicking on a tile (e.g., entity) in user interface 500. User interface 600 can portray a date 610 (e.g., Feb. 18, 2014) associated with the entity. Date 610 can correspond to the current date, the date that method 200 was last performed for that entity, the date that information in the one or more data sources associated with that entity was last updated, or the date that the user last viewed the tile associated with the entity. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can portray a propensity 620 of the entity to take the specified action. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, user interface 600 can portray propensity 620 as a categorical value, such as “Med.”. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can convey propensity 620 by shading the top bar in a different color (e.g., green for “low”, red for “high”, etc.) representing propensity 620. In some embodiments, user interface 600 can portray propensity 620 as numerical value or as a percentage. In some embodiments user interface 600 can display the entity status 630 (e.g., “Active” if the household is currently subscribing to a policy).

In some embodiments, user interface 600 can display recent activities 640 associated with the entity. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, user interface 600 can display that the “customer registered an additional luxury vehicle on 2/18”. User interface 600 can recommend an action 650 for the user to take (e.g., service call). In some embodiments, this recommendation 650 can relate to the recent activity.

User interface 600 can provide the user with additional information associated with the entity. As shown in the bottom left panel of FIG. 6, user interface 600 can display basic biographic information 660 for the entity. In the automobile insurance context, for example, user interface 600 can display the policy number, (e.g., 34726182), the entity name (e.g., household/owner of the policy, David Stark), the policy coverage start date (e.g., 12/12/2004), any secondary owners associated with the policy (e.g., James Watson), information associated with the insured automobile (e.g., 2013 Cadillac Escalade), and the type of insurance policy (e.g., Standard).

In some embodiments, user interface 600 can also display information for an agent 670 associated with the entity. For example, the user interface 600 can display the name (e.g., Bruce Atherton) and contact information (e.g., 583 234-9172) of the agent. A user can use this information to take preemptive action to prevent the entity from taking the specified action. By way of example, if the propensity of churning for a household subscribing to an automobile insurance policy was high, the user could contact the agent to take remedial action (e.g., lower rate, address customer concerns, etc.).

In some embodiments, the right panel of FIG. 6, can display recent events 680 associated with the entity. For example, user interface 600 can display whether the entity status is active (e.g., whether the entity is currently subscribing to a policy) or whether the agent has taken any actions (e.g., called the household or subscriber). In some embodiments, user interface 600 can also allow the user and agent to converse in the right panel. For example, the user can click on the “ADD AN UPDATE” button 690 to remind the agent to contact the entity. The user interface can display responsive comments 680 from the agent and the agent can add any actions taken 680 (e.g., calling the household).

Embodiments of the present disclosure have been described herein with reference to numerous specific details that can vary from implementation to implementation. Certain adaptations and modifications of the described embodiments can be made. Other embodiments can be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the embodiments disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the present disclosure being indicated by the following claims. It is also intended that the sequence of steps shown in figures are only for illustrative purposes and are not intended to be limited to any particular sequence of steps. As such, it is appreciated that these steps can be performed in a different order while implementing the exemplary methods or processes disclosed herein.

Claims

1. A system for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action, the system comprising:

one or more computer-readable storage media configured to store instructions; and
one or more processors configured to execute the instructions to: acquire information associated with the entity from one or more data sources; form a record associated with the entity by integrating the information from the one or more data sources; generate, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity; process the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action; and output the propensity.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more processors are further configured to filter the record for information associated with the specified action.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more processors are further configured to train a model to predict the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the one are more processors are further configured to determine, based on the trained model and the record, the relative importance of the one or more features.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more processors are further configured to:

acquire a temporal period; and
determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action within the temporal period.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more processors are further configured to generate a user interface to display the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the entity is a household and the specified action is churn.

8. A method for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action, the method being performed by one or more processors and comprising:

acquiring information associated with the entity from one or more data sources;
forming a record associated with the entity by integrating the information from the one or more data sources;
generating, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity;
processing the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action; and
outputting the propensity.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising filtering the record for information associated with the specified action.

10. The method of claim 8, further comprising training a model to predict the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising determining, based on the trained model and the record, the relative importance of the one or more features.

12. The method of claim 8, further comprising:

acquiring a temporal period; and
determining the propensity of the entity to take the specified action within the temporal period.

13. The method of claim 8, further comprising generating a user interface to display the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

14. The method of claim 8, wherein the entity is a household and the specified action is churn.

15. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing a set of instructions that are executable by one or more processors to cause the one or more processors to perform a method for determining a propensity of an entity to take a specified action, the method comprising:

acquiring information associated with the entity one or more data sources;
forming a record associated with the entity by integrating the information from the one or more data sources;
generating, based on the record, one or more features associated with the entity;
processing the one or more features to determine the propensity of the entity to take the specified action; and
outputting the propensity.

16. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, further comprising instructions executable by the one or more processors to cause the one or more processors to perform:

training a model to predict the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

17. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 16, further comprising instructions executable by the one or more processors to cause the one or more processors to perform:

determining, based on the trained model and the record, the relative importance of the one or more features.

18. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, further comprising instructions executable by the one or more processors to cause the one or more processors to perform:

acquiring a temporal period; and
determining the propensity of the entity to take the specified action within the temporal period.

19. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, further comprising instructions executable by the one or more processors to cause the one or more processors to perform:

generating a user interface to display the propensity of the entity to take the specified action.

20. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the entity is a household and the specified action is churn.

Patent History

Publication number: 20160026923
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 5, 2014
Publication Date: Jan 28, 2016
Inventors: Daniel ERENRICH (Mountain View, CA), Anirvan MUKHERJEE (Mountain View, CA)
Application Number: 14/562,524

Classifications

International Classification: G06N 5/04 (20060101); G06N 7/00 (20060101);