Modeling online service discontinuation with nonparametric agents

Walczak, Steven & Parthasarathy, Madhavan
Information Systems and E-Business Management Vol. 4, Issue 1, p. 49 – 70

The internet and world wide web are an increasingly important resource, both as a market and as an information source, to both individual users and business entities. An estimated 120 million active web users exist in the United States alone. Access to these electronic marketplaces and information sources is accomplished through either a direct internet connection or through a service provider. Internet service providers (ISPs) enable internet and web access for most of these users either via dial-up modems (62.2 percent), or DSL connections (17 percent). Customers of ISPs frequently switch or discontinue service. The model selection perspective is used to extend previous work in this area through the development of a multi-agent system with neural network wrappers. The nonparametric (neural network) agents identify over 92 percent of those users that either stop or change service, which is a 15 percent increase over previous models.