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155
Portfolio Selection with Parameter and Model Uncertainty: A MultiPrior Approach
, 2006
"... We develop a model for an investor with multiple priors and aversion to ambiguity. We characterize the multiple priors by a "confidence interval" around the estimated expected returns and we model ambiguity aversion via a minimization over the priors. Our model has several attractive featu ..."
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Cited by 108 (4 self)
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We develop a model for an investor with multiple priors and aversion to ambiguity. We characterize the multiple priors by a "confidence interval" around the estimated expected returns and we model ambiguity aversion via a minimization over the priors. Our model has several attractive features: (1) it has a solid axiomatic foundation; (2) it is flexible enough to allow for different degrees of uncertainty about expected returns for various subsets of assets and also about the returngenerating model; and (3) it delivers closedform expressions for the optimal portfolio. Our empirical analysis suggests that, compared with portfolios from classical and Bayesian models, ambiguityaverse portfolios are more stable over time and deliver a higher outof sample Sharpe ratio.
Theory and applications of Robust Optimization
, 2007
"... In this paper we survey the primary research, both theoretical and applied, in the field of Robust Optimization (RO). Our focus will be on the computational attractiveness of RO approaches, as well as the modeling power and broad applicability of the methodology. In addition to surveying the most pr ..."
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Cited by 100 (14 self)
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In this paper we survey the primary research, both theoretical and applied, in the field of Robust Optimization (RO). Our focus will be on the computational attractiveness of RO approaches, as well as the modeling power and broad applicability of the methodology. In addition to surveying the most prominent theoretical results of RO over the past decade, we will also present some recent results linking RO to adaptable models for multistage decisionmaking problems. Finally, we will highlight successful applications of RO across a wide spectrum of domains, including, but not limited to, finance, statistics, learning, and engineering.
Robust Dynamic Programming
 Math. Oper. Res
, 2004
"... In this paper we propose a robust formulation for discrete time dynamic programming (DP). The objective of the robust formulation is to systematically mitigate the sensitivity of the DP optimal policy to ambiguity in the underlying transition probabilities. The ambiguity is modeled by associating ..."
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Cited by 67 (1 self)
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In this paper we propose a robust formulation for discrete time dynamic programming (DP). The objective of the robust formulation is to systematically mitigate the sensitivity of the DP optimal policy to ambiguity in the underlying transition probabilities. The ambiguity is modeled by associating a set of conditional measures with each stateaction pair. Consequently, in the robust formulation each policy has a set of measures associated with it. We prove that when this set of measures has a certain "Rectangularity" property all the main results for finite and infinite horizon DP extend to natural robust counterparts. We identify families of sets of conditional measures for which the computational complexity of solving the robust DP is only modestly larger than solving the DP, typically logarithmic in the size of the state space. These families of sets are constructed from the confidence regions associated with density estimation, and therefore, can be chosen to guarantee any desired level of confidence in the robust optimal policy. Moreover, the sets can be easily parameterized from historical data. We contrast the performance of robust and nonrobust DP on small numerical examples.
A survey of the Slemma
 SIAM Review
"... Abstract. In this survey we review the many faces of the Slemma, a result about the correctness of the Sprocedure. The basic idea of this widely used method came from control theory but it has important consequences in quadratic and semidefinite optimization, convex geometry, and linear algebra as ..."
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Cited by 59 (1 self)
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Abstract. In this survey we review the many faces of the Slemma, a result about the correctness of the Sprocedure. The basic idea of this widely used method came from control theory but it has important consequences in quadratic and semidefinite optimization, convex geometry, and linear algebra as well. These were all active research areas, but as there was little interaction between researchers in these different areas, their results remained mainly isolated. Here we give a unified analysis of the theory by providing three different proofs for the Slemma and revealing hidden connections with various areas of mathematics. We prove some new duality results and present applications from control theory, error estimation, and computational geometry. Key words. Slemma, Sprocedure, control theory, nonconvex theorem of alternatives, numerical range, relaxation theory, semidefinite optimization, generalized convexities
Distributionally Robust Optimization under Moment Uncertainty with Application to DataDriven Problems
"... Stochastic programs can effectively describe the decisionmaking problem in an uncertain environment. Unfortunately, such programs are often computationally demanding to solve. In addition, their solutions can be misleading when there is ambiguity in the choice of a distribution for the random param ..."
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Cited by 53 (4 self)
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Stochastic programs can effectively describe the decisionmaking problem in an uncertain environment. Unfortunately, such programs are often computationally demanding to solve. In addition, their solutions can be misleading when there is ambiguity in the choice of a distribution for the random parameters. In this paper, we propose a model describing one’s uncertainty in both the distribution’s form (discrete, Gaussian, exponential, etc.) and moments (mean and covariance). We demonstrate that for a wide range of cost functions the associated distributionally robust stochastic program can be solved efficiently. Furthermore, by deriving new confidence regions for the mean and covariance of a random vector, we provide probabilistic arguments for using our model in problems that rely heavily on historical data. This is confirmed in a practical example of portfolio selection, where our framework leads to better performing policies on the “true” distribution underlying the daily return of assets.
A selective overview of nonparametric methods in financial econometrics
 Statist. Sci
, 2005
"... Abstract. This paper gives a brief overview of the nonparametric techniques that are useful for financial econometric problems. The problems include estimation and inference for instantaneous returns and volatility functions of timehomogeneous and timedependent diffusion processes, and estimation ..."
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Cited by 52 (8 self)
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Abstract. This paper gives a brief overview of the nonparametric techniques that are useful for financial econometric problems. The problems include estimation and inference for instantaneous returns and volatility functions of timehomogeneous and timedependent diffusion processes, and estimation of transition densities and state price densities. We first briefly describe the problems and then outline the main techniques and main results. Some useful probabilistic aspects of diffusion processes are also briefly summarized to facilitate our presentation and applications.
TWOSTAGE ROBUST NETWORK FLOW AND DESIGN UNDER DEMAND UNCERTAINTY
 FORTHCOMING IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH
, 2004
"... We describe a twostage robust optimization approach for solving network flow and design problems with uncertain demand. In twostage network optimization one defers a subset of the flow decisions until after the realization of the uncertain demand. Availability of such a recourse action allows one ..."
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Cited by 47 (3 self)
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We describe a twostage robust optimization approach for solving network flow and design problems with uncertain demand. In twostage network optimization one defers a subset of the flow decisions until after the realization of the uncertain demand. Availability of such a recourse action allows one to come up with less conservative solutions compared to singlestage optimization. However, this advantage often comes at a price: twostage optimization is, in general, significantly harder than singestage optimization. For network flow and design under demand uncertainty we give a characterization of the firststage robust decisions with an exponential number of constraints and prove that the corresponding separation problem is N Phard even for a network flow problem on a bipartite graph. We show, however, that if the secondstage network topology is totally ordered or an arborescence, then the separation problem is tractable. Unlike singlestage robust optimization under demand uncertainty, twostage robust optimization allows one to control conservatism of the solutions by means of an allowed “budget for demand uncertainty.” Using a budget of uncertainty we provide an upper
Optimal versus Naive Diversification: How . . .
, 2007
"... We evaluate the outofsample performance of the samplebased meanvariance model, and its extensions designed to reduce estimation error, relative to the naive 1/N portfolio. Of the 14 models we evaluate across seven empirical datasets, none is consistently better than the 1/N rule in terms of Shar ..."
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Cited by 46 (5 self)
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We evaluate the outofsample performance of the samplebased meanvariance model, and its extensions designed to reduce estimation error, relative to the naive 1/N portfolio. Of the 14 models we evaluate across seven empirical datasets, none is consistently better than the 1/N rule in terms of Sharpe ratio, certaintyequivalent return, or turnover, which indicates that, out of sample, the gain from optimal diversification is more than offset by estimation error. Based on parameters calibrated to the US equity market, our analytical results and simulations show that the estimation window needed for the samplebased meanvariance strategy and its extensions to outperform the 1/N benchmark is around 3000 months for a portfolio with 25 assets and about 6000 months for a portfolio with 50 assets. This suggests that there are still many “miles to go” before the gains promised by optimal portfolio choice can actually be realized out of sample.
WORSTCASE VALUEATRISK AND ROBUST PORTFOLIO OPTIMIZATION: A CONIC PROGRAMMING APPROACH
, 2001
"... Classical formulations of the portfolio optimization problem, such as meanvariance or ValueatRisk (VaR) approaches, can result in a portfolio extremely sensitive to errors in the data, such as mean and covariance matrix of the returns. In this paper we propose a way to alleviate this problem in a ..."
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Cited by 42 (1 self)
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Classical formulations of the portfolio optimization problem, such as meanvariance or ValueatRisk (VaR) approaches, can result in a portfolio extremely sensitive to errors in the data, such as mean and covariance matrix of the returns. In this paper we propose a way to alleviate this problem in a tractable manner. We assume that the distribution of returns is partially known, in the sense that only bounds on the mean and covariance matrix are available. We define the worstcase ValueatRisk as the largest VaR attainable, given the partial information on the returns ’ distribution. We consider the problem of computing and optimizing the worstcase VaR, and we show that these problems can be cast as semidefinite programs. We extend our approach to various other partial information on the distribution, including uncertainty in factor models, support constraints, and relative entropy information.
Ambiguous Chance Constrained Problems And Robust Optimization
 Mathematical Programming
, 2004
"... In this paper we study ambiguous chance constrained problems where the distributions of the random parameters in the problem are themselves uncertain. We primarily focus on the special case where the uncertainty set Q of the distributions is of the form Q = {Q : # p (Q, Q 0 ) # #}, where # p denote ..."
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Cited by 41 (1 self)
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In this paper we study ambiguous chance constrained problems where the distributions of the random parameters in the problem are themselves uncertain. We primarily focus on the special case where the uncertainty set Q of the distributions is of the form Q = {Q : # p (Q, Q 0 ) # #}, where # p denotes the Prohorov metric. The ambiguous chance constrained problem is approximated by a robust sampled problem where each constraint is a robust constraint centered at a sample drawn according to the central measure Q 0 . The main contribution of this paper is to show that the robust sampled problem is a good approximation for the ambiguous chance constrained problem with high probability. This result is established using the StrassenDudley Representation Theorem that states that when the distributions of two random variables are close in the Prohorov metric one can construct a coupling of the random variables such that the samples are close with high probability. We also show that the robust sampled problem can be solved e#ciently both in theory and in practice. 1