Contribute Media
A thank you to everyone who makes this possible: Read More

Predicting flight compensation - a case study


Under EU law, airplane passengers have the right to be compensated if their flight is sufficiently delayed. GIVT helps passengers file such claims. Every claim needs to be verified as there are various conditions that can invalidate it: extreme weather, strikes, bird hit, etc. In this talk, I will describe a machine learning system which replaces manual verification of claims.

This talk describes the process of implementing a machine learning model in production. I will talk about various problems that we encountered and how we solved them.

First, I will describe the problem: verification if the airline should compensate the passenger for the flight. This depends on many factors, some of which are easy to define (is the flight delayed more than 180 minutes? is the airline from EU?) and some are not (is the weather bad enough to invalidate the claim? is there a strike?). Of course, with perfect data, those questions would be very easy, but in practice we do not have the luxury of working with ideal data. For example, the weather reports are not available in real time and we know they are available for the airports, not the whole route of the flight. I will tell you what data we had and what features we extracted from it.

Then I will briefly describe the algorithms we used and why, unsurprisingly, we ended up using GBM. After the model was ready, we ran it in parallel to manual verification for several weeks so the predictions of the model could be compared to human work. One important aspect of running the model in production is explaining the model decisions to the verification team (and end users). I will talk about techniques that can be used to 'explain' the model's decision, for example, SHAP.

The main value of my talk will be practical lessons for solving a real business problem with machine learning.


Improve this page