Open Access


Inter-Purchase Time Prediction Based on Deep Learning

Ling-Jing Kao1, Chih-Chou Chiu1,*, Yu-Fan Lin2, Heong Kam Weng1
1 Department of Business Management, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei, 106, Taiwan
2 Digital Transformation Institute, Institute for Information Industry, Taipei, 106, Taiwan
* Corresponding Author: Chih-Chou Chiu. Email:

Computer Systems Science and Engineering 2022, 42(2), 493-508.

Received 29 July 2021; Accepted 30 August 2021; Issue published 04 January 2022


Inter-purchase time is a critical factor for predicting customer churn. Improving the prediction accuracy can exploit consumer’s preference and allow businesses to learn about product or pricing plan weak points, operation issues, as well as customer expectations to proactively reduce reasons for churn. Although remarkable progress has been made, classic statistical models are difficult to capture behavioral characteristics in transaction data because transaction data are dependent and short-, medium-, and long-term data are likely to interfere with each other sequentially. Different from literature, this study proposed a hybrid inter-purchase time prediction model for customers of on-line retailers. Moreover, the analysis of differences in the purchase behavior of customers has been particularly highlighted. The integrated self-organizing map and Recurrent Neural Network technique is proposed to not only address the problem of purchase behavior but also improve the prediction accuracy of inter-purchase time. The permutation importance method was used to identify crucial variables in the prediction model and to interpret customer purchase behavior. The performance of the proposed method is evaluated by comparing the prediction with the results of three competing approaches on the transaction data provided by a leading e-retailer in Taiwan. This study provides a valuable reference for marketing professionals to better understand and develop strategies to attract customers to shorten their inter-purchase times.


Purchasing behavior; e-commerce; inter-purchase time; self-organizing map; recurrent neural network

Cite This Article

L. Kao, C. Chiu, Y. Lin and H. Kam Weng, "Inter-purchase time prediction based on deep learning," Computer Systems Science and Engineering, vol. 42, no.2, pp. 493–508, 2022.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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