Skip to main content

Faculty & Research


The M5 Uncertainty Competition: Results, Findings and Conclusions

Journal Article
This paper describes the M5 “Uncertainty” competition, the second of two parallel challenges of the latest M competition, aiming to advance the theory and practice of forecasting. The particular objective of the M5 “Uncertainty” competition was to accurately forecast the uncertainty distributions of the realized values of 42,840 time series that represent the hierarchical unit sales of the largest retail company in the world by revenue, Walmart. To do so, the competition required the prediction of nine different quantiles (0.005, 0.025, 0.165, 0.250, 0.500, 0.750, 0.835, 0.975, and 0.995), that can sufficiently describe the complete distributions of future sales. The paper provides details on the implementation and execution of the M5 “Uncertainty” competition, presents its results and the top-performing methods, and summarizes its major findings and conclusions. Finally, it discusses the implications of its findings and suggests directions for future research.

Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences

Professor of Decision Sciences

Professor of Decision Sciences