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ArXiv Preprint

Multivariate time-series data are used in many classification and regression predictive tasks, and recurrent models have been widely used for such tasks. Most common recurrent models assume that time-series data elements are of equal length and the ordered observations are recorded at regular intervals. However, real-world time-series data have neither a similar length nor a same number of observations. They also have missing entries, which hinders the performance of predictive tasks. In this paper, we approach these issues by presenting a model for the combined task of imputing and predicting values for the irregularly observed and varying length time-series data with missing entries. Our proposed model (Bi-GAN) uses a bidirectional recurrent network in a generative adversarial setting. The generator is a bidirectional recurrent network that receives actual incomplete data and imputes the missing values. The discriminator attempts to discriminate between the actual and the imputed values in the output of the generator. Our model learns how to impute missing elements in-between (imputation) or outside of the input time steps (prediction), hence working as an effective any-time prediction tool for time-series data. Our method has three advantages to the state-of-the-art methods in the field: (a) single model can be used for both imputation and prediction tasks; (b) it can perform prediction task for time-series of varying length with missing data; (c) it does not require to know the observation and prediction time window during training which provides a flexible length of prediction window for both long-term and short-term predictions. We evaluate our model on two public datasets and on another large real-world electronic health records dataset to impute and predict body mass index (BMI) values in children and show its superior performance in both settings.

Mehak Gupta, Rahmatollah Beheshti