Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




It is important to predict the sales of an iron and steel company and to identify the variables that influence these sales for future planning. The aim in this study was to identify and model the key factors that influence the sales volume of an iron and steel company using artificial neural networks (ANNs). We attempted to obtain an integrated result from the performance/sales levels of 5 models, to use the ANN approach with hybrid algorithms, and also to present an exemplary application in the base metals industry, where there is a limited number of studies. This study contributes to the literature as the first application of artificial intelligence methods in the iron and steel industry. The ANN models incorporated 6 macroeconomic variables and price-to-sales data and their results were evaluated. An ordinary least squares regression model was also used to facilitate the comparison of results, while gray relational analysis (GRA) was used to draw a comprehensive conclusion based on the ANN results. The results showed that the variables USD/TL exchange rate, product prices, and interest rates, in descending order, had the highest degree of influence in determining the sales of the iron and steel company. Furthermore, these variables are crucial for forecasting future sales and strategic planning. The study showed that the ANN outperformed classical regression models in terms of prediction accuracy. In the model applications conducted for 5 different product groups, it was observed that 3 models (models 2, 3, and 4), including model 4, which sold a higher volume of products than the total of the other products, had an overall performance above 80%. In addition, GRA was found to be a valuable tool for synthesizing insights from different ANN models based on their respective performance levels.


Iron/steel sale determiners, artificial neural network, gray relational analysis, deriving integrated inferences

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