MPIDR Working Paper

Timing, sequencing and quantum of life course events: a machine learning approach

Billari, F. C., Fürnkranz, J., Prskawetz, A.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-010 (Oktober 2000).
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung


In this methodological paper we discuss and apply machine learning tech-niques, a core research area in the artificial intelligence literature, to analyse simultaneously timing, sequencing, and quantum of life course events from a comparative perspective. We outline the need for techniques which allow the adoption of a holistic approach to the analysis of life courses, illustrating the specific case of the transition to adulthood. We briefly introduce machine learning algorithms to build decision trees and rule sets and then apply such algorithms to delineate the key features which distinguish Austrian and Ital-ian pathways to adulthood, using Fertility and Family Survey data. The key role of sequencing and synchronisation between events emerges clearly from the methodology used. [AUTHORS]