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Academic Commons Search Resultsen-usConvex Optimization Algorithms and Recovery Theories for Sparse Models in Machine Learning
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:175385
Huang, Bohttp://dx.doi.org/10.7916/D8VM49DMMon, 07 Jul 2014 11:31:19 +0000Sparse modeling is a rapidly developing topic that arises frequently in areas such as machine learning, data analysis and signal processing. One important application of sparse modeling is the recovery of a high-dimensional object from relatively low number of noisy observations, which is the main focuses of the Compressed Sensing, Matrix Completion(MC) and Robust Principal Component Analysis (RPCA) . However, the power of sparse models is hampered by the unprecedented size of the data that has become more and more available in practice. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to better harnessing the convex optimization techniques to take advantage of any underlying "sparsity" structure in problems of extremely large size.
This thesis focuses on two main aspects of sparse modeling. From the modeling perspective, it extends convex programming formulations for matrix completion and robust principal component analysis problems to the case of tensors, and derives theoretical guarantees for exact tensor recovery under a framework of strongly convex programming. On the optimization side, an efficient first-order algorithm with the optimal convergence rate has been proposed and studied for a wide range of problems of linearly constraint sparse modeling problems.Mathematics, Statistics, Operations researchIndustrial Engineering and Operations ResearchDissertationsApproximate dynamic programming for large scale systems
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:169790
Desai, Vijay V.http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:20875Fri, 28 Jun 2013 10:51:16 +0000Sequential decision making under uncertainty is at the heart of a wide variety of practical problems. These problems can be cast as dynamic programs and the optimal value function can be computed by solving Bellman's equation. However, this approach is limited in its applicability. As the number of state variables increases, the state space size grows exponentially, a phenomenon known as the curse of dimensionality, rendering the standard dynamic programming approach impractical. An effective way of addressing curse of dimensionality is through parameterized value function approximation. Such an approximation is determined by relatively small number of parameters and serves as an estimate of the optimal value function. But in order for this approach to be effective, we need Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP) algorithms that can deliver `good' approximation to the optimal value function and such an approximation can then be used to derive policies for effective decision-making. From a practical standpoint, in order to assess the effectiveness of such an approximation, there is also a need for methods that give a sense for the suboptimality of a policy. This thesis is an attempt to address both these issues. First, we introduce a new ADP algorithm based on linear programming, to compute value function approximations. LP approaches to approximate DP have typically relied on a natural `projection' of a well studied linear program for exact dynamic programming. Such programs restrict attention to approximations that are lower bounds to the optimal cost-to-go function. Our program -- the `smoothed approximate linear program' -- is distinct from such approaches and relaxes the restriction to lower bounding approximations in an appropriate fashion while remaining computationally tractable. The resulting program enjoys strong approximation guarantees and is shown to perform well in numerical experiments with the game of Tetris and queueing network control problem. Next, we consider optimal stopping problems with applications to pricing of high-dimensional American options. We introduce the pathwise optimization (PO) method: a new convex optimization procedure to produce upper and lower bounds on the optimal value (the `price') of high-dimensional optimal stopping problems. The PO method builds on a dual characterization of optimal stopping problems as optimization problems over the space of martingales, which we dub the martingale duality approach. We demonstrate via numerical experiments that the PO method produces upper bounds and lower bounds (via suboptimal exercise policies) of a quality comparable with state-of-the-art approaches. Further, we develop an approximation theory relevant to martingale duality approaches in general and the PO method in particular. Finally, we consider a broad class of MDPs and introduce a new tractable method for computing bounds by consider information relaxation and introducing penalty. The method delivers tight bounds by identifying the best penalty function among a parameterized class of penalty functions. We implement our method on a high-dimensional financial application, namely, optimal execution and demonstrate the practical value of the method vis-a-vis competing methods available in the literature. In addition, we provide theory to show that bounds generated by our method are provably tighter than some of the other available approaches.Operations research, Mathematicsvvd2101Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, BusinessDissertationsFinancial Portfolio Risk Management: Model Risk, Robustness and Rebalancing Error
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:161415
Xu, Xingbohttp://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:20382Mon, 20 May 2013 15:59:07 +0000Risk management has always been in key component of portfolio management. While more and more complicated models are proposed and implemented as research advances, they all inevitably rely on imperfect assumptions and estimates. This dissertation aims to investigate the gap between complicated theoretical modelling and practice. We mainly focus on two directions: model risk and reblancing error. In the first part of the thesis, we develop a framework for quantifying the impact of model error and for measuring and minimizing risk in a way that is robust to model error. This robust approach starts from a baseline model and finds the worst-case error in risk measurement that would be incurred through a deviation from the baseline model, given a precise constraint on the plausibility of the deviation. Using relative entropy to constrain model distance leads to an explicit characterization of worst-case model errors; this characterization lends itself to Monte Carlo simulation, allowing straightforward calculation of bounds on model error with very little computational effort beyond that required to evaluate performance under the baseline nominal model. This approach goes well beyond the effect of errors in parameter estimates to consider errors in the underlying stochastic assumptions of the model and to characterize the greatest vulnerabilities to error in a model. We apply this approach to problems of portfolio risk measurement, credit risk, delta hedging, and counterparty risk measured through credit valuation adjustment. In the second part, we apply this robust approach to a dynamic portfolio control problem. The sources of model error include the evolution of market factors and the influence of these factors on asset returns. We analyze both finite- and infinite-horizon problems in a model in which returns are driven by factors that evolve stochastically. The model incorporates transaction costs and leads to simple and tractable optimal robust controls for multiple assets. We illustrate the performance of the controls on historical data. Robustness does improve performance in out-of-sample tests in which the model is estimated on a rolling window of data and then applied over a subsequent time period. By acknowledging uncertainty in the estimated model, the robust rules lead to less aggressive trading and are less sensitive to sharp moves in underlying prices. In the last part, we analyze the error between a discretely rebalanced portfolio and its continuously rebalanced counterpart in the presence of jumps or mean-reversion in the underlying asset dynamics. With discrete rebalancing, the portfolio's composition is restored to a set of fixed target weights at discrete intervals; with continuous rebalancing, the target weights are maintained at all times. We examine the difference between the two portfolios as the number of discrete rebalancing dates increases. We derive the limiting variance of the relative error between the two portfolios for both the mean-reverting and jump-diffusion cases. For both cases, we derive ``volatility adjustments'' to improve the approximation of the discretely rebalanced portfolio by the continuously rebalanced portfolio, based on on the limiting covariance between the relative rebalancing error and the level of the continuously rebalanced portfolio. These results are based on strong approximation results for jump-diffusion processes.Operations research, Finance, Mathematicsxx2126Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, BusinessDissertationsTournaments With Forbidden Substructures and the Erdos-Hajnal Conjecture
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:160247
Choromanski, Krzysztofhttp://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:20024Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:29:42 +0000A celebrated Conjecture of Erdos and Hajnal states that for every undirected graph H there exists ɛ(H)>0 such that every undirected graph on n vertices that does not contain H as an induced subgraph contains a clique or a stable set of size at least n^{ɛ(H)}. In 2001 Alon, Pach and Solymosi proved that the conjecture has an equivalent directed version, where undirected graphs are replaced by tournaments and cliques and stable sets by transitive subtournaments. This dissertation addresses the directed version of the conjecture and some problems in the directed setting that are closely related to it. For a long time the conjecture was known to be true only for very specific small graphs and graphs obtained from them by the so-called substitution procedure proposed by Alon, Pach and Solymosi. All the graphs that are an outcome of this procedure have nontrivial homogeneous sets. Tournaments without nontrivial homogeneous sets are called prime. They play a central role here since if the conjecture is not true then the smallest counterexample is prime. We remark that for a long time the conjecture was known to be true only for some prime graphs of order at most 5. There exist 5-vertex graphs for which the conjecture is still open, however one of the corollaries of the results presented in the thesis states that all tournaments on at most 5 vertices satisfy the conjecture. In the first part of the thesis we will establish the conjecture for new infinite classes of tournaments containing infinitely many prime tournaments. We will first prove the conjecture for so-called constellations. It turns out that almost all tournaments on at most 5 vertices are either constellations or are obtained from constellations by substitutions. The only 5-vertex tournament for which this is not the case is a tournament in which every vertex has outdegree 2. We call this the tournament C_{5}. Another result of this thesis is the proof of the conjecture for this tournament. We also present here the structural characterization of the tournaments satisfying the conjecture in almost linear sense. In the second part of the thesis we focus on the upper bounds on coefficients epsilon(H) for several classes of tournaments. In particular we analyze how they depend on the structure of the tournament. We prove that for almost all h-vertex tournaments ɛ(H) ≤ 4/h(1+o(1)). As a byproduct of the methods we use here, we get upper bounds for ɛ(H) of undirected graphs. We also present upper bounds on ɛ(H) of tournaments with small nontrivial homogeneous sets, in particular prime tournaments. Finally we analyze tournaments with big ɛ(H) and explore some of their structural properties.Mathematicskmc2178Industrial Engineering and Operations ResearchDissertationsRare Events in Stochastic Systems: Modeling, Simulation Design and Algorithm Analysis
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:156733
Shi, Yixihttp://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:19034Wed, 13 Feb 2013 12:32:00 +0000This dissertation explores a few topics in the study of rare events in stochastic systems, with a particular emphasis on the simulation aspect. This line of research has been receiving a substantial amount of interest in recent years, mainly motivated by scientific and industrial applications in which system performance is frequently measured in terms of events with very small probabilities.The topics mainly break down into the following themes: Algorithm Analysis: Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5. Simulation Design: Chapters 3, 4 and 5. Modeling: Chapter 5. The titles of the main chapters are detailed as follows: Chapter 2: Analysis of a Splitting Estimator for Rare Event Probabilities in Jackson Networks Chapter 3: Splitting for Heavy-tailed Systems: An Exploration with Two Algorithms Chapter 4: State Dependent Importance Sampling with Cross Entropy for Heavy-tailed Systems Chapter 5: Stochastic Insurance-Reinsurance Networks: Modeling, Analysis and Efficient Monte CarloEngineering, Mathematicsys2347Industrial Engineering and Operations ResearchDissertationsForbidden Substructures in Graphs and Trigraphs, and Related Coloring Problems
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:146465
Penev, Irenahttp://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:13082Tue, 01 May 2012 16:34:11 +0000Given a graph G, χ(G) denotes the chromatic number of G, and ω(G) denotes the clique number of G (i.e. the maximum number of pairwise adjacent vertices in G). A graph G is perfect provided that for every induced subgraph H of G, χ(H) = ω(H). This thesis addresses several problems from the theory of perfect graphs and generalizations of perfect graphs. The bull is a five-vertex graph consisting of a triangle and two vertex-disjoint pendant edges; a graph is said to be bull-free provided that no induced subgraph of it is a bull. The first result of this thesis is a structure theorem for bull-free perfect graphs. This is joint work with Chudnovsky, and it first appeared in [12]. The second result of this thesis is a decomposition theorem for bull-free perfect graphs, which we then use to give a polynomial time combinatorial coloring algorithm for bull-free perfect graphs. We remark that de Figueiredo and Maffray [33] previously solved this same problem, however, the algorithm presented in this thesis is faster than the algorithm from [33]. We note that a decomposition theorem that is very similar (but slightly weaker) than the one from this thesis was originally proven in [52], however, the proof in this thesis is significantly different from the one in [52]. The algorithm from this thesis is very similar to the one from [52]. A class G of graphs is said to be χ-bounded provided that there exists a function f such that for all G in G, and all induced subgraphs H of G, we have that χ(H) ≤ f(ω(H)). χ-bounded classes were introduced by Gyarfas [41] as a generalization of the class of perfect graphs (clearly, the class of perfect graphs is χ-bounded by the identity function). Given a graph H, we denote by Forb*(H) the class of all graphs that do not contain any subdivision of H as an induced subgraph. In [57], Scott proved that Forb*(T) is χ-bounded for every tree T, and he conjectured that Forb*(H) is χ-bounded for every graph H. Recently, a group of authors constructed a counterexample to Scott's conjecture [51]. This raises the following question: for which graphs H is Scott's conjecture true? In this thesis, we present the proof of Scott's conjecture for the cases when H is the paw (i.e. a four-vertex graph consisting of a triangle and a pendant edge), the bull, and a necklace (i.e. a graph obtained from a path by choosing a matching such that no edge of the matching is incident with an endpoint of the path, and for each edge of the matching, adding a vertex adjacent to the ends of this edge). This is joint work with Chudnovsky, Scott, and Trotignon, and it originally appeared in [13]. Finally, we consider several operations (namely, "substitution," "gluing along a clique," and "gluing along a bounded number of vertices"), and we show that the closure of a χ-bounded class under any one of them, as well as under certain combinations of these three operations (in particular, the combination of substitution and gluing along a clique, as well as the combination of gluing along a clique and gluing along a bounded number of vertices) is again χ-bounded. This is joint work with Chudnovsky, Scott, and Trotignon, and it originally appeared in [14].Mathematicsip2158Mathematics, Industrial Engineering and Operations ResearchDissertationsQuantitative Modeling of Credit Derivatives
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:131549
Kan, Yu Hanghttp://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:10272Thu, 05 May 2011 13:46:38 +0000The recent financial crisis has revealed major shortcomings in the existing approaches for modeling credit derivatives. This dissertation studies various issues related to the modeling of credit derivatives: hedging of portfolio credit derivatives, calibration of dynamic credit models, and modeling of credit default swap portfolios. In the first part, we compare the performance of various hedging strategies for index collateralized debt obligation (CDO) tranches during the recent financial crisis. Our empirical analysis shows evidence for market incompleteness: a large proportion of risk in the CDO tranches appears to be unhedgeable. We also show that, unlike what is commonly assumed, dynamic models do not necessarily perform better than static models, nor do high-dimensional bottom-up models perform better than simpler top-down models. On the other hand, model-free regression-based hedging appears to be surprisingly effective when compared to other hedging strategies. The second part is devoted to computational methods for constructing an arbitrage-free CDO pricing model compatible with observed CDO prices. This method makes use of an inversion formula for computing the aggregate default rate in a portfolio from expected tranche notionals, and a quadratic programming method for recovering expected tranche notionals from CDO spreads. Comparing this approach to other calibration methods, we find that model-dependent quantities such as the forward starting tranche spreads and jump-to-default ratios are quite sensitive to the calibration method used, even within the same model class. The last chapter of this dissertation focuses on statistical modeling of credit default swaps (CDSs). We undertake a systematic study of the univariate and multivariate properties of CDS spreads, using time series of the CDX Investment Grade index constituents from 2005 to 2009. We then propose a heavy-tailed multivariate time series model for CDS spreads that captures these properties. Our model can be used as a framework for measuring and managing the risk of CDS portfolios, and is shown to have better performance than the affine jump-diffusion or random walk models for predicting loss quantiles of various CDS portfolios.Finance, Mathematicsyk2246Industrial Engineering and Operations ResearchDissertations