Caron, François, Bornn, Luke, Doucet, Arnaud

Sparsity-promoting priors have become increasingly popular over recent years due to an increased number of regression and classification applications involving a large number of predictors. In time series applications where observations are collected over time, it is often unrealistic to assume that the underlying sparsity pattern is fixed. We propose here an original class of flexible Bayesian linear models for dynamic sparsity modelling. The proposed class of models expands upon the existing Bayesian literature on sparse regression using generalized multivariate hyperbolic distributions. The properties of the models are explored through both analytic results and simulation studies. We demonstrate the model on a financial application where it is shown that it accurately represents the patterns seen in the analysis of stock and derivative data, and is able to detect major events by filtering an artificial portfolio of assets.

Gao, Gelin, Mishra, Bud, Ramazzotti, Daniele

The most recent financial upheavals have cast doubt on the adequacy of some of the conventional quantitative risk management strategies, such as VaR (Value at Risk), in many common situations. Consequently, there has been an increasing need for verisimilar financial stress testings, namely simulating and analyzing financial portfolios in extreme, albeit rare scenarios. Unlike conventional risk management which exploits statistical correlations among financial instruments, here we focus our analysis on the notion of probabilistic causation, which is embodied by Suppes-Bayes Causal Networks (SBCNs); SBCNs are probabilistic graphical models that have many attractive features in terms of more accurate causal analysis for generating financial stress scenarios. In this paper, we present a novel approach for conducting stress testing of financial portfolios based on SBCNs in combination with classical machine learning classification tools. The resulting method is shown to be capable of correctly discovering the causal relationships among financial factors that affect the portfolios and thus, simulating stress testing scenarios with a higher accuracy and lower computational complexity than conventional Monte Carlo Simulations.

Pfeuffer, Julianus, Serang, Oliver

Max-convolution is an important problem closely resembling standard convolution; as such, max-convolution occurs frequently across many fields. Here we extend the method with fastest known worst-case runtime, which can be applied to nonnegative vectors by numerically approximating the Chebyshev norm $\| \cdot \|_\infty$, and use this approach to derive two numerically stable methods based on the idea of computing $p$-norms via fast convolution: The first method proposed, with runtime in $O( k \log(k) \log(\log(k)) )$ (which is less than $18 k \log(k)$ for any vectors that can be practically realized), uses the $p$-norm as a direct approximation of the Chebyshev norm. The second approach proposed, with runtime in $O( k \log(k) )$ (although in practice both perform similarly), uses a novel null space projection method, which extracts information from a sequence of $p$-norms to estimate the maximum value in the vector (this is equivalent to querying a small number of moments from a distribution of bounded support in order to estimate the maximum). The $p$-norm approaches are compared to one another and are shown to compute an approximation of the Viterbi path in a hidden Markov model where the transition matrix is a Toeplitz matrix; the runtime of approximating the Viterbi path is thus reduced from $O( n k^2 )$ steps to $O( n $k \log(k))$ steps in practice, and is demonstrated by inferring the U.S. unemployment rate from the S&P 500 stock index.

Raymond, Rudy, Osogami, Takayuki, Dasgupta, Sakyasingha

Dynamic Boltzmann Machine (DyBM) has been shown highly efficient to predict time-series data. Gaussian DyBM is a DyBM that assumes the predicted data is generated by a Gaussian distribution whose first-order moment (mean) dynamically changes over time but its second-order moment (variance) is fixed. However, in many financial applications, the assumption is quite limiting in two aspects. First, even when the data follows a Gaussian distribution, its variance may change over time. Such variance is also related to important temporal economic indicators such as the market volatility. Second, financial time-series data often requires learning datasets generated by the generalized Gaussian distribution with an additional shape parameter that is important to approximate heavy-tailed distributions. Addressing those aspects, we show how to extend DyBM that results in significant performance improvement in predicting financial time-series data.

Brummelhuis, Raymond, Luo, Zhongmin

Regulators require financial institutions to estimate counterparty default risks from liquid CDS quotes for the valuation and risk management of OTC derivatives. However, the vast majority of counterparties do not have liquid CDS quotes and need proxy CDS rates. Existing methods cannot account for counterparty-specific default risks; we propose to construct proxy CDS rates by associating to illiquid counterparty liquid CDS Proxy based on Machine Learning Techniques. After testing 156 classifiers from 8 most popular classifier families, we found that some classifiers achieve highly satisfactory accuracy rates. Furthermore, we have rank-ordered the performances and investigated performance variations amongst and within the 8 classifier families. This paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first systematic study of CDS Proxy construction by Machine Learning techniques, and the first systematic classifier comparison study based entirely on financial market data. Its findings both confirm and contrast existing classifier performance literature. Given the typically highly correlated nature of financial data, we investigated the impact of correlation on classifier performance. The techniques used in this paper should be of interest for financial institutions seeking a CDS Proxy method, and can serve for proxy construction for other financial variables. Some directions for future research are indicated.