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Title: Applications of hidden Markov models in financial modelling
Author: Erlwein, Christina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3448 8508
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2008
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Various models driven by a hidden Markov chain in discrete or continuous time are developed to capture the stylised features of market variables whose levels or values constitute as the underliers of financial derivative contracts or investment portfolios. Since the parameters are switching regimes, the changes and developments in the economy as soon as they arise are readily reflected in these models. The change of probability measure technique and the EM algorithm are fundamental techniques utilised in the optimal parameter estimation. Recursive adaptive filters for the state of the Markov chain and other auxiliary processes related to the Markov chain are derived which in turn yield self-tuning dynamic financial models. A hidden Markov model (HMM)-based modelling set-up for commodity prices is developed and the predictability of the gold market under this setting is examined. An Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) model with HMM parameters is proposed and under this set-up, we address two statistical inference issues: the sensitivity of the model to small changes in parameter estimates and the selection of the optimal number of states. The extended OU model is implemented on a data set of 30-day Canadian T-bill yields. An exponential of a Markov-switching OU process plus a compound Poisson process is put forward as a model for the evolution of electricity spot prices. Using a data set compiled by Nord Pool, we illustrate the vast improvements gained in incorporating regimes in the model. A multivariate HMM is employed as a framework in providing the solutions of two asset allocation problems; one involves the mean-variance utility function and the other entails the CVaR constraint. Finally, the valuation of credit default swaps highlights the important considerations necessitated by pricing in a regime-switching environment. Certain numerical schemes are applied to obtain approximations for the default probabilities and swap rates.
Supervisor: Mamon, R. Sponsor: Brunel Research Initiative and Enterprise Fund (BRIEF) ; European Union (Marie Curie Fellowship)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Markov chains ; Hidden Markov models ; Commodity prices ; Interest rates ; Asset allocation