Some Models for Time Series of Counts

Heng Liu

Some Models for Time Series of Counts
Liu, Heng
Thesis Advisor(s):
Davis, Richard A.
Persistent URL:
Ph.D., Columbia University.
This thesis focuses on developing nonlinear time series models and establishing relevant theory with a view towards applications in which the responses are integer valued. The discreteness of the observations, which is not appropriate with classical time series models, requires novel modeling strategies. The majority of the existing models for time series of counts assume that the observations follow a Poisson distribution conditional on an accompanying intensity process that drives the serial dynamics of the model. According to whether the evolution of the intensity process depends on the observations or solely on an external process, the models are classified into parameter-driven and observation-driven. Compared to the former one, an observation-driven model often allows for easier and more straightforward estimation of the model parameters. On the other hand, the stability properties of the process, such as the existence and uniqueness of a stationary and ergodic solution that are required for deriving asymptotic theory of the parameter estimates, can be quite complicated to establish, as compared to parameter-driven models. In this thesis, we first propose a broad class of observation-driven models that is based upon a one-parameter exponential family of distributions and incorporates nonlinear dynamics. The establishment of stability properties of these processes, which is at the heart of this thesis, is addressed by employing theory from iterated random functions and coupling techniques. Using this theory, we are also able to obtain the asymptotic behavior of maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters. Extensions of the base model in several directions are considered. Inspired by the idea of a self-excited threshold ARMA process, a threshold Poisson autoregression is proposed. It introduces a two-regime structure in the intensity process and essentially allows for modeling negatively correlated observations. E-chain, a non-standard Markov chain technique and Lyapunov's method are utilized to show the stationarity and a law of large numbers for this process. In addition, the model has been adapted to incorporate covariates, an important problem of practical and primary interest. The base model is also extended to consider the case of multivariate time series of counts. Given a suitable definition of a multivariate Poisson distribution, a multivariate Poisson autoregression process is described and its properties studied. Several simulation studies are presented to illustrate the inference theory. The proposed models are also applied to several real data sets, including the number of transactions of the Ericsson stock, the return times of Goldman Sachs Group stock prices, the number of road crashes in Schiphol, the frequencies of occurrences of gold particles, the incidences of polio in the US and the number of presentations of asthma in an Australian hospital. An array of graphical and quantitative diagnostic tools, which is specifically designed for the evaluation of goodness of fit for time series of counts models, is described and illustrated with these data sets.
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Suggested Citation:
Heng Liu, , Some Models for Time Series of Counts, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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