Financial Portfolio Optimization: Computationally guided agents to investigate, analyse and invest!?

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Financial portfolio optimization is a widely studied problem in mathematics, statistics, financial and computational literature. It adheres to determining an optimal combination of weights associated with financial assets held in a portfolio. In practice, it faces challenges by virtue of varying math. formulations, parameters, business constraints and complex financial instruments. Empirical nature of data is no longer one-sided; thereby reflecting upside and downside trends with repeated yet unidentifiable cyclic behaviours potentially caused due to high frequency volatile movements in asset trades. Portfolio optimization under such circumstances is theoretically and computationally challenging. This work presents a novel mechanism to reach an optimal solution by encoding a variety of optimal solutions in a solution bank to guide the search process for the global investment objective formulation. It conceptualizes the role of individual solver agents that contribute optimal solutions to a bank of solutions, a super-agent solver that learns from the solution bank, and, thus reflects a knowledge-based computationally guided agents approach to investigate, analyse and reach to optimal solution for informed investment decisions. Conceptual understanding of classes of solver agents that represent varying problem formulations and, mathematically oriented deterministic solvers along with stochastic-search driven evolutionary and swarm-intelligence based techniques for optimal weights are discussed. Algorithmic implementation is presented by an enhanced neighbourhood generation mechanism in Simulated Annealing algorithm. A framework for inclusion of heuristic knowledge and human expertise from financial literature related to investment decision making process is reflected via introduction of controlled perturbation strategies using a decision matrix for neighbourhood generation.


Mission Operations Planning with Preferences: An Empirical Study

AAAI Conferences

This paper presents an empirical study of some nonexhaustive approaches to optimizing preferences within the context of constraint-based, mixed-initiative planning for mission operations. This work is motivated by the experience of deploying and operating the MAPGEN (Mixed-initiative Activity Plan GENerator) system for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Responsiveness to the user is one of the important requirements for MAPGEN; hence, the additional computation time needed to optimize preferences must be kept within reasonable bounds. This was the primary motivation for studying non-exhaustive optimization approaches. The specific goals of the empirical study are to assess the impact on solution quality of two greedy heuristics used in MAPGEN and to assess the improvement gained by applying a linear programming optimization technique as a post-processing step.


Optimizing Fixed-Size Stochastic Controllers for POMDPs

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we discuss a new approach that represents POMDP policies as finite-state controllers and formulates the optimal policy of a desired size as a nonlinear program (NLP). This new representation allows a wide range of powerful nonlinear programming algorithms to be used to solve POMDPs. Although solving the NLP optimally is often intractable, the results we obtain using an off-theshelf optimization method are competitive with state-of-theart POMDP algorithms. Our approach is simple to implement and it opens up promising research directions for solving POMDPs using nonlinear programming methods.


Generic CP-Supported CMSA for Binary Integer Linear Programs

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Construct, Merge, Solve and Adapt (CMSA) is a general hybrid metaheuristic for solving combinatorial optimization problems. At each iteration, CMSA (1) constructs feasible solutions to the tackled problem instance in a probabilistic way and (2) solves a reduced problem instance (if possible) to optimality. The construction of feasible solutions is hereby problem-specific, usually involving a fast greedy heuristic. The goal of this paper is to design a problem-agnostic CMSA variant whose exclusive input is an integer linear program (ILP). In order to reduce the complexity of this task, the current study is restricted to binary ILPs. In addition to a basic problem-agnostic CMSA variant, we also present an extended version that makes use of a constraint propagation engine for constructing solutions. The results show that our technique is able to match the upper bounds of the standalone application of CPLEX in the context of rather easy-to-solve instances, while it generally outperforms the standalone application of CPLEX in the context of hard instances. Moreover, the results indicate that the support of the constraint propagation engine is useful in the context of problems for which finding feasible solutions is rather difficult.


Meta-heuristic for non-homogeneous peak density spaces and implementation on 2 real-world parameter learning/tuning applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Observer effect in physics (/psychology) regards bias in measurement (/perception) due to the interference of instrument (/knowledge). Based on these concepts, a new meta-heuristic algorithm is proposed for controlling memory usage per localities without pursuing Tabu-like cut-off approaches. In this paper, first, variations of observer effect are explained in different branches of science from physics to psychology. Then, a metaheuristic algorithm is proposed based on observer effect concepts and the used metrics are explained. The derived optimizer performance has been compared between 1st, non-homogeneous-peaks-density functions, and 2nd, homogeneous-peaks-density functions to verify the algorithm outperformance in the 1st scheme. Finally, performance analysis of the novel algorithms is derived using two real-world engineering applications in Electroencephalogram feature learning and Distributed Generator parameter tuning, each of which having nonlinearity and complex multi-modal peaks distributions as its characteristics. Also, the effect of version improvement has been assessed. The performance analysis among other optimizers in the same context suggests that the proposed algorithm is useful both solely and in hybrid Gradient Descent settings where problem's search space is nonhomogeneous in terms of local peaks density.