Theses Doctoral

Time Series Modeling with Shape Constraints

Zhang, Jing

This thesis focuses on the development of semiparametric estimation methods for a class of time series models using shape constraints. Many of the existing time series models assume the noise follows some known parametric distributions. Typical examples are the Gaussian and t distributions. Then the model parameters are estimated by maximizing the resultant likelihood function.
As an example, the autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models (Brockwell and Davis, 2009) assume Gaussian noise sequence and are estimated under the causal-invertible constraint by maximizing the Gaussian likelihood. Although the same estimates can also be used in the causal-invertible non-Gaussian case, they are not asymptotically optimal (Rosenblatt, 2012). Moreover, for the noncausal/noninvertible cases, the Gaussian likelihood estimation procedure is not applicable, since any second-order based methods cannot distinguish between causal-invertible and noncausal/noninvertible models (Brockwell and Davis,2009). As a result, many estimation methods for noncausal/noninvertible ARMA models assume the noise follows a known non-Gaussian distribution, like a Laplace distribution or a t distribution. To relax this distributional assumption and allow noncausal/noninvertible models, we borrow ideas from nonparametric shape-constraint density estimation and propose a semiparametric estimation procedure for general ARMA models by projecting the underlying noise distribution onto the space of log-concave measures (Cule and Samworth, 2010; Dümbgen et al., 2011). We show the maximum likelihood estimators in this semiparametric setting are consistent. In fact, the MLE is robust to the misspecification of log-concavity in cases where the true distribution of the noise is close to its log-concave projection. We derive a lower bound for the best asymptotic variance of regular estimators at rate sqrt(n) for AR models and construct a semiparametric efficient estimator.
We also consider modeling time series of counts with shape constraints. Many of the formulated models for count time series are expressed via a pair of generalized state-space equations. In this set-up, the observation equation specifies the conditional distribution of the observation Yt at time t given a state-variable Xt. For count time series, this conditional distribution is usually specified as coming from a known parametric family such as the Poisson or the Negative Binomial distribution. To relax this formal parametric framework, we introduce a concave shape constraint into the one-parameter exponential family. This essentially amounts to assuming that the reference measure is log-concave. In this fashion, we are able to extend the class of observation-driven models studied in Davis and Liu (2016). Under this formulation, there exists a stationary and ergodic solution to the state-space model. In this new modeling framework, we consider the inference problem of estimating both the parameters of the mean model and the log-concave function, corresponding to the reference measure. We then compute and maximize the likelihood function over both the parameters associated with the mean function and the reference measure subject to a concavity constraint. The estimator of the mean function and the conditional distribution are shown to be consistent and perform well compared to a full parametric model specification. The finite sample behavior of the estimators are studied via simulation and two empirical examples are provided to illustrate the methodology.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Davis, Richard A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 6, 2017