Make Transformer Great Again for Time Series Forecasting: Channel Aligned Robust Dual Transformer

Wang Xue, Tian Zhou, Qingsong Wen, Jinyang Gao, Bolin Ding, Rong Jin

Recent studies have demonstrated the great power of deep learning methods, particularly Transformer and MLP, for time series forecasting. Despite its success in NLP and CV, many studies found that Transformer is less effective than MLP for time series forecasting. In this work, we design a special Transformer, i.e., channel-aligned robust dual Transformer (CARD for short), that addresses key shortcomings of Transformer in time series forecasting. First, CARD introduces a dual Transformer structure that allows it to capture both temporal correlations among signals and dynamical dependence among multiple variables over time. Second, we introduce a robust loss function for time series forecasting to alleviate the potential overfitting issue. This new loss function weights the importance of forecasting over a finite horizon based on prediction uncertainties. Our evaluation of multiple long-term and short-term forecasting datasets demonstrates that CARD significantly outperforms state-of-the-art time series forecasting methods, including both Transformer and MLP-based models.

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