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An adaptive model is a way to display data that can evolve with changing contexts provided during the modeling process. These models are used to predict outcomes in real-world situations where factors determining production and consumption change, affecting the marketability of products and services. They are created and used by data analysts in a number of business environments for this purpose.
Typically, an adaptive model is created using specifically designed software. Using this software, data analysts enter in information concerning the product and/or service that their company deals with. They will then provide information on the factors that determine the business’ productivity. This is called the modeling process.
Information used in an adaptive model is likely to include the supply of resources needed to manufacture the product and their related costs. The anticipated demand by the intended consumer audience, information pertaining to distribution and other factors that are known to change over time will be entered as well. The time frame being analyzed is also important. If the time frame is too broad the information may be less accurate.
After the raw information is entered into an adaptive model the second stage, coding, begins. In this process, the software interprets the changing information and produces a sequence that is readable to the analyst. The analyst may then look at the sequence that is produced, make predictions on the future of the product or service the business provides, and report these predictions to management and other employees.
While an adaptive model is most frequently used to predict changes in the economics of a business environment, it is seeing other uses in fields where predicting and understanding changes are important. Network security is an example of such a field. As cyber attacks on the network infrastructure of businesses evolve in complexity and frequency, an adaptive model may be used to determine the likelihood of an attack and hopefully point out weak spots in a company's system before security is compromised by an attacker. An adaptive model can be used to examine the Internet traffic that a business is engaged in and find suspicious looking transfers of information so they may be examined by network security personnel.