Durante, Daniele, Scarpa, Bruno, Dunson, David B.

In modeling multivariate time series, it is important to allow time-varying smoothness in the mean and covariance process. In particular, there may be certain time intervals exhibiting rapid changes and others in which changes are slow. If such locally adaptive smoothness is not accounted for, one can obtain misleading inferences and predictions, with over-smoothing across erratic time intervals and under-smoothing across times exhibiting slow variation. This can lead to miscalibration of predictive intervals, which can be substantially too narrow or wide depending on the time. We propose a continuous multivariate stochastic process for time series having locally varying smoothness in both the mean and covariance matrix. This process is constructed utilizing latent dictionary functions in time, which are given nested Gaussian process priors and linearly related to the observed data through a sparse mapping. Using a differential equation representation, we bypass usual computational bottlenecks in obtaining MCMC and online algorithms for approximate Bayesian inference. The performance is assessed in simulations and illustrated in a financial application.

Durante, Daniele, Dunson, David B.

Symmetric binary matrices representing relations among entities are commonly collected in many areas. Our focus is on dynamically evolving binary relational matrices, with interest being in inference on the relationship structure and prediction. We propose a nonparametric Bayesian dynamic model, which reduces dimensionality in characterizing the binary matrix through a lower-dimensional latent space representation, with the latent coordinates evolving in continuous time via Gaussian processes. By using a logistic mapping function from the probability matrix space to the latent relational space, we obtain a flexible and computational tractable formulation. Employing P\`olya-Gamma data augmentation, an efficient Gibbs sampler is developed for posterior computation, with the dimension of the latent space automatically inferred. We provide some theoretical results on flexibility of the model, and illustrate performance via simulation experiments. We also consider an application to co-movements in world financial markets.

Although there is a rich literature on methods for allowing the variance in a univariate regression model to vary with predictors, time and other factors, relatively little has been done in the multivariate case. Our focus is on developing a class of nonparametric covariance regression models, which allow an unknown p x p covariance matrix to change flexibly with predictors. The proposed modeling framework induces a prior on a collection of covariance matrices indexed by predictors through priors for predictor-dependent loadings matrices in a factor model. In particular, the predictor-dependent loadings are characterized as a sparse combination of a collection of unknown dictionary functions (e.g, Gaussian process random functions). The induced covariance is then a regularized quadratic function of these dictionary elements. Our proposed framework leads to a highly-flexible, but computationally tractable formulation with simple conjugate posterior updates that can readily handle missing data. Theoretical properties are discussed and the methods are illustrated through simulations studies and an application to the Google Flu Trends data.

Dellaportas, P., Plataniotis, A., Titsias, M. K.

We introduce a multivariate stochastic volatility model for asset returns that imposes no restrictions to the structure of the volatility matrix and treats all its elements as functions of latent stochastic processes. When the number of assets is prohibitively large, we propose a factor multivariate stochastic volatility model in which the variances and correlations of the factors evolve stochastically over time. Inference is achieved via a carefully designed feasible and scalable Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm that combines two computationally important ingredients: it utilizes invariant to the prior Metropolis proposal densities for simultaneously updating all latent paths and has quadratic, rather than cubic, computational complexity when evaluating the multivariate normal densities required. We apply our modelling and computational methodology to $571$ stock daily returns of Euro STOXX index for data over a period of $10$ years. MATLAB software for this paper is available at http://www.aueb.gr/users/mtitsias/code/msv.zip.

Wu, Yue, Hernández-Lobato, José Miguel, Ghahramani, Zoubin

The accurate prediction of time-changing covariances is an important problem in the modeling of multivariate financial data. However, some of the most popular models suffer from a) overfitting problems and multiple local optima, b) failure to capture shifts in market conditions and c) large computational costs. To address these problems we introduce a novel dynamic model for time-changing covariances. Over-fitting and local optima are avoided by following a Bayesian approach instead of computing point estimates. Changes in market conditions are captured by assuming a diffusion process in parameter values, and finally computationally efficient and scalable inference is performed using particle filters. Experiments with financial data show excellent performance of the proposed method with respect to current standard models.