Yi "Zoey" Zhao

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Employment Info

Quantitative Researcher
Citadel, LLC


Bayesian Multiregression Dyamic Models with Applications in Finance & Business

Abstract: This thesis discusses novel developments in Bayesian analytics for high-dimensional multivariate time series. The focus is on the class of multiregression dynamic models (MDMs), which can be decomposed into sets of univariate models processed in parallel yet coupled for forecasting and decision making. Parallel processing greatly speeds up the computations and vastly expands the range of time series to which the analysis can be applied. I begin by defining a new sparse representation of the dependence between the components of a multivariate time series. Using this representation, innovations involve sparse dynamic dependence networks, idiosyncrasies in time-varying auto-regressive lag structures, and flexibility of discounting methods for stochastic volatilities. For exploration of the model space, I define a variant of the Shotgun Stochastic Search (SSS) algorithm. Under the parallelizable framework, this new SSS algorithm allows the stochastic search to move in each dimension simultaneously at each iteration, and thus it moves much faster to high probability regions of model space than does traditional SSS. For the assessment of model uncertainty in MDMs, I propose an innovative method that converts model uncertainties from the multivariate context to the univariate context using Bayesian Model Averaging and power discounting techniques. I show that this approach can succeed in effectively capturing time-varying model uncertainties on various model parameters, while also identifying practically superior predictive and lucrative models in financial studies. Finally I introduce common state coupled DLMs/MDMs (CSCDLMs/CSCMDMs), a new class of models for multivariate time series. These models are related to the established class of dynamic linear models, but include both common and series-specific state vectors and incorporate multivariate stochastic volatility. Bayesian analytics are developed including sequential updating, using a novel forward-filtering-backward-sampling scheme. Online and analytic learning of observation variances is achieved by an approximation method using variance discounting. This method results in faster computation for sequential step-ahead forecasting than MCMC, satisfying the requirement of speed for real-world applications. A motivating example is the problem of short-term prediction of electricity demand in a "Smart Grid" scenario. Previous models do not enable either time-varying, correlated structure or online learning of the covariance structure of the state and observational evolution noise vectors. I address these issues by using a CSCMDM and applying a variance discounting method for learning correlation structure. Experimental results on a real data set, including comparisons with previous models, validate the effectiveness of the new framework.