Journal of Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences
Volume 5 (2001), Issue 4, Pages 215-234

Financial applications of a Tabu search variable selection model

Zvi Drezner, George A. Marcoulides, and Mark Hoven Stohs

College of Business and Economics, California State University, Fullerton 92834, CA, USA

Copyright © 2001 Zvi Drezner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We illustrate how a comparatively new technique, a Tabu search variable selection model [Drezner, Marcoulides and Salhi (1999)], can be applied efficiently within finance when the researcher must select a subset of variables from among the whole set of explanatory variables under consideration. Several types of problems in finance, including corporate and personal bankruptcy prediction, mortgage and credit scoring, and the selection of variables for the Arbitrage Pricing Model, require the researcher to select a subset of variables from a larger set. In order to demonstrate the usefulness of the Tabu search variable selection model, we: (1) illustrate its efficiency in comparison to the main alternative search procedures, such as stepwise regression and the Maximum R2 procedure, and (2) show how a version of the Tabu search procedure may be implemented when attempting to predict corporate bankruptcy. We accomplish (2) by indicating that a Tabu Search procedure increases the predictability of corporate bankruptcy by up to 10 percentage points in comparison to Altman's (1968) Z-Score model.