Trading algorithms with learning in latent alpha models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Alpha signals for statistical arbitrage strategies are often driven by latent factors. This paper analyses how to optimally trade with latent factors that cause prices to jump and diffuse. Moreover, we account for the effect of the trader's actions on quoted prices and the prices they receive from trading. Under fairly general assumptions, we demonstrate how the trader can learn the posterior distribution over the latent states, and explicitly solve the latent optimal trading problem. We provide a verification theorem, and a methodology for calibrating the model by deriving a variation of the expectation-maximization algorithm. To illustrate the efficacy of the optimal strategy, we demonstrate its performance through simulations and compare it to strategies which ignore learning in the latent factors. We also provide calibration results for a particular model using Intel Corporation stock as an example.


Constraint-free Graphical Model with Fast Learning Algorithm

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this paper, we propose a simple, versatile model for learning the structure and parameters of multivariate distributions from a data set. Learning a Markov network from a given data set is not a simple problem, because Markov networks rigorously represent Markov properties, and this rigor imposes complex constraints on the design of the networks. Our proposed model removes these constraints, acquiring important aspects from the information geometry. The proposed parameter- and structure-learning algorithms are simple to execute as they are based solely on local computation at each node. Experiments demonstrate that our algorithms work appropriately.


Causal Data Science for Financial Stress Testing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.


Temporal Topic Analysis with Endogenous and Exogenous Processes

AAAI Conferences

We consider the problem of modeling temporal textual data taking endogenous and exogenous processes into account. Such text documents arise in real world applications, including job advertisements and economic news articles, which are influenced by the fluctuations of the general economy. We propose a hierarchical Bayesian topic model which imposes a "group-correlated" hierarchical structure on the evolution of topics over time incorporating both processes, and show that this model can be estimated from Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling methods. We further demonstrate that this model captures the intrinsic relationships between the topic distribution and the time-dependent factors, and compare its performance with latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) and two other related models. The model is applied to two collections of documents to illustrate its empirical performance: online job advertisements from DirectEmployers Association and journalists' postings on BusinessInsider.com.


Locally adaptive factor processes for multivariate time series

arXiv.org Machine Learning

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 time-varying 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 mis-calibration of predictive intervals, which can be substantially too narrow or wide depending on the time. We propose a locally adaptive factor process for characterizing multivariate mean-covariance changes in continuous time, allowing locally varying smoothness in both the mean and covariance matrix. This process is constructed utilizing latent dictionary functions evolving in time through nested Gaussian processes and linearly related to the observed data with 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.