Research Article  Open Access
Yunquan Song, Lu Lin, "Sublinear Expectation Nonlinear Regression for the Financial Risk Measurement and Management", Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, vol. 2013, Article ID 398750, 10 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/398750
Sublinear Expectation Nonlinear Regression for the Financial Risk Measurement and Management
Abstract
Financial risk is objective in modern financial activity. Management and measurement of the financial risks have become key abilities for financial institutions in competition and also make the major content in finance engineering and modern financial theories. It is important and necessary to model and forecast financial risk. We know that nonlinear expectation, including sublinear expectation as its special case, is a new and original framework of probability theory and has potential applications in some scientific fields, specially in finance risk measure and management. Under the nonlinear expectation framework, however, the related statistical models and statistical inferences have not yet been well established. In this paper, a sublinear expectation nonlinear regression is defined, and its identifiability is obtained. Several parameter estimations and model predictions are suggested, and the asymptotic normality of the estimation and the minimax property of the prediction are obtained. Finally, simulation study and real data analysis are carried out to illustrate the new model and methods. In this paper, the notions and methodological developments are nonclassical and original, and the proposed modeling and inference methods establish the foundations for nonlinear expectation statistics.
1. Introduction
Finance is the core of economy, and financial safety is directly related to economic safety. Financial risk management is a huge field with diverse and evolving components, as evidenced by both its historical development and current best practice. One such component—probably the key component—is risk measurement. The 20072008 financial crisis and its longlasting aftermath make people more aware that it is a very urgent and necessary thing to model and forecast financial risk.
It is well known that among all the assumption conditions imposed to the classical statistical models, the most vital one is of course that the models under study have a certain probability distribution that may or may not be known. The classical linear expectation and determinant statistics are built on such a distribution certainty or model certainty. The distribution certainty, however, is not always the case in practice, such as in risk measure and superhedging in finance (see, e.g., El Karoui et al. [1], Artzner et al. [2] Chen and Epstein [3], Follmer and Schied [4]). Without the distribution certainty, the resulting expectation is of nonlinearity, usually. The earlier work on nonlinear expectation may ascend to Huber [5] in the sense of robust statistics or ascent to Walley [6] in the sense of imprecise probabilities. In recent decades, the theory and methodology of nonlinear expectation have been well developed and received much attention in some application fields such as finance risk measure and control. A typical example of the nonlinear expectation, called gexpectation (small g), was introduced in Peng [7] in the framework of backward stochastic differential equations. As a further development, Gexpectation (big g) and its related versions are proposed by Peng [8]. Under the nonlinear expectation framework, the most common distribution is the socalled Gnormal distribution, which was first introduced in Peng [8]. Furthermore, as the theoretical basis of the nonlinear expectation, the law of large numbers as well as the central limit theorem is also established by Peng [9, 10]. Also, from different points of view, many authors studied the nonlinear expectation, its application, and the related issues; see, for example, Briand et al. [11], Coquet et al. [12], Denis and Martini [13], Denis et al. [14], Gao [15], Li and Peng [16], Rosazza [17], Soner et al. [18], and Xu and Zhang [19]. Other references include Chen and Peng [20], Peng [21–24], Soner et al. [25–27], and Song [28], among many others.
Contrary to the fast development of the nonlinear expectation in probability theory, little attention has been paid to the related statistical models and statistical inferences to the best of our knowledge. Although the earlier work of Huber [5] refers initially to the upper and the lower expectations, a special nonlinear expectation, the main aspects focus on robust statistics, and the underlying true model is supposed implicitly to have a certain distribution. Gross error model, for example, contains a certain true distribution in the contaminated distribution set, and on such a distribution set, the supper and the lower expectations can be defined; see, for example, Strassen [29] and Huber [5]. In classical statistical frameworks, heteroscedastic model may be the closest one to the model uncertainty aforementioned, but it only has the variance uncertainty, and the corresponding inference methods do not involve any notion of the nonlinear expectation. In the nonparametric framework, the model structure is not given, and in Bayesian framework, the model parameter is random. But the two statistical frameworks are essentially different from the model uncertainty aforementioned, and the corresponding methods are completely unrelated to any nonlinear expectation. In time series models, although the data depend on observation time, the strict stationarity or the weak stationarity is required to guarantee the certainty of statistical inferences. In one word, under the classical statistics frameworks, including parameter models, nonparametric models, Bayes models, and time series models, the defined expectations are of linearity. Without this linearity, it is essentially difficult or impossible by the classical methods to achieve the classical certain conclusions, such as estimation consistency, asymptotic normality of the estimation.
Under the modeluncertainty frameworks, the classical statistics methods are no longer available, usually. The classical maximum likelihood, for example, is nonexistent or can not be uniquely determined due to without a certain likelihood function. Also the classical least squares is invalid because it is required that the data are derived from a certain distribution, such as normal distribution. Moreover, the classical statistical models such as linear regression model, may not be welldefined as their identifiability depends on the meancertainty; without the meancertainty, the regression notion has to be redefined so that the new one is of identifiability. Thus, to achieve the target of statistics inference, it is necessary to develop new statistical frameworks and new statistical methods.
Lin et al. [30] establish a framework of sublinear expectation regression for the model with distribution uncertainty. Based on a sublinear expectation space, a sublinear expectation linear regression is defined, and its identifiability is achieved. We often meet nonlinear model in the study of finance risk measure and management. It is a kind of simple and approximate methods that we deal with nonlinear model with the theory of linear model. The approximate often brings many problems. Moreover, it is not consistent with the fact of the conclusion. As a result, since the actual model is nonlinear model, we should use the method of nonlinear science to deal with the actual model. Motivated by Lin et al. [30], we propose a sublinear expectation nonlinear regression in this paper. And we achieve its identifiability. Our model is always available for both cases of the variance uncertainty and the meanvariance uncertainty. Unlike the classical regression, the new model tends to use a large value to predict response variable and obtains the minimax prediction risk. It implies that our method is a robust strategy and therefore has potential applications in finance risk measure and management. New parameter estimation methods are suggested, and the resulting estimators are asymptotically normal distributed for the case of highfrequency data. It is worth mentioning that under the modeluncertainty framework, the certaintystatistical inferences are established in this paper, including the parameter certainty, the prediction certainty, and the distribution certainty of the parameter estimation. The notions and methodologies developed here are nonclassical and original, and the theoretical framework establishes the foundations for nonlinear expectation statistics.
The remainder of the paper is organized in the following way. In Section 2, a sublinear expectation nonlinear regression model is built, and its identifiability is obtained. The estimation and prediction methods are suggested in Section 3, and the asymptotic normality of the estimators and the minimax property of the predictions are established as well in this section. Simulation study and real data analysis are carried out in Section 4 to illustrate the new model and methodology. The proofs of the theorems and the definition of the sublinear expectation space are postponed to appendices.
2. Sublinear Expectation Nonlinear Regression
In this section we establish a framework of sublinear expectation nonlinear regression, including modeling, estimation, prediction, and the asymptotic properties.
2.1. Model
We consider the following nonlinear regression model: where is a scalar response variable, is the associated dimensional covariate having a certain distribution , and is a dimensional vector of unknown parameters. We assume that the function is a known function, and it is twice continuously differentiable. Furthermore, it is supposed that the error is independent of . We need the independency condition only for simplicity. The idea and methodology developed in the following can be extended to the dependent case, but the notations and algorithm are relatively complex. It is worth pointing out that the essential difference from the classical nonlinear regression model is that here the error has distribution uncertainty, which is defined in the following way.
Let be a given set, and let be a linear space of real valued functions defined on . Furthermore, let denote a sublinear expectation: , satisfying monotonicity, constant preserving, subadditivity, and positive homogeneity; for the details of the definitions; see appendices. The triple is then called a sublinear expectation space. In this paper, we assume that is defined on a sublinear expectation space . It can be seen from the definition that the probability distribution of is uncertain. For regression analysis, we suppose that contains linear and quadratic functions, and although the sublinear expectation is supposed to be existent, its exact form may be unknown. Thus, a remarkable point of view is that since regression analysis depends mainly on expectation, we here only define a sublinear expectation space, instead of the wellaccepted probability space.
As was known by Peng [10, 31], the sublinear expectation of a function can be expressed as a supremum of linear expectations.
Lemma 1. There exists a family of linear expectations defined on such that and there exists a such that
Write . Then, the intervals and characterize the meanuncertainty and the variance uncertainty of , respectively.
When is a random variable, for regression modeling, it is required to define the sublinear conditional expectation . Lin et al. [30] gave the definition of the sublinear conditional expectation . For example, by the representation theorem given previuosly, the previuos can be defined as where is a family of linear conditional expectations. With this definition, the properties of monotonicity, constant preserving, subadditivity, and positive homogeneity given in appendices still hold.
2.2. GNormal Regression
We first consider the case when the error is supposed to be Gnormally distributed; namely, Under this situation, has a certain zero mean, but its variance is uncertain, a special distribution uncertainty. As was defined by Peng [8], is called Gnormally distributed if it is defined on a sublinear expectation space and satisfies that for each , , where is an independent copy of and “” stands for equal in distribution. For the definition and the representation of Gnormal distribution, see Peng [8]. It follows from the cash translatability of the sublinear conditional expectation that for regression model (1), if is Gnormally distributed as in (5), then The above relationship (6) could be thought of as a Gnormal expectation nonlinear regression because is the Gnormal expectation, a special sublinear expectation.
Remark 2. Note that has an identical distribution. Then, if is Gnormally distributed as in (5), the Gexpectation of is identifiable in the sense that can be uniquely determined by as in (6). Here we emphasize the use of Gnormal regression because a quadratic loss function will be employed in the following to construct a quasimaximum likelihood estimation; for the details, see the next section. In fact the notion proposed here can be directly extended to general meancertainty sublinear expectation regressions. Specifically, we only assume that has the mean certainty, instead of Gnormal distribution. Under this situation, model (6) could be regarded as a meancertainty sublinear expectation regression.
2.3. Sublinear Expectation Regression
Now we investigate the model in which the error has both the mean uncertainty and the variance uncertainty. By the cash translatability of the sublinear conditional expectation, we have This model could be thought of as a sublinear expectation nonlinear regression because is a sublinear expectation.
Remark 3. If , then, given , the sublinear expectation of has a shift , and more precisely, the sublinear expectation of has the framework of (7). In the face of the mean uncertainty, we still can uniquely determine the parameter vector and then use the meanshift framework instead of to predict the response variable . Such a framework reflects the robust feature of sublinear expectation nonlinear regression. If is a measure of the risk of a financial product, then the sublinear expectation regression tends to use a relatively large value to predict the risk and moreover, and the increment of the risk measure is just the sublinear expectation of the error .
3. Estimation and Prediction
It is supposed in this section that the dimension of is fixed. Let be a sample from model (1), satisfying Unlike the classical ones, here may have distribution uncertainty because of the distribution uncertainty of . Then the corresponding estimation method should be different from the classical ones that apply only to linear expectation regression models.
We now introduce a minimax method to construct the estimator of .
3.1. The Case of the Mean Certainty
We first consider the case of having the mean certainty. Because has the sublinear expectation given , theoretically, we should choose , so that it can minimize the sublinear expectation square loss: We can easily verify that the previous sublinear expectation square loss is a convex function of . Thus the optimization problem has a unique global optimal solution. The previous is in fact a sublinear expectation least squares.
Remark 4. It is worth mentioning that under Gnormal distribution, we have that if is a convex function, then and if is a concave function, then For the details see Peng [8]. These imply that under the convex function and concave function spaces, the Gnormal has density functions and , respectively. Therefore, the previous sublinear expectation least squares could be thought of as a quasi maximum likelihood.
To implement the estimation procedure, we need the following assumption.
(C1) There exists an index decomposition: , such that when are independent and have an identical distribution.
We suppose from now on that the numbers of elements in , are equal; that is, , without loss of generality. Because it is assumed that are identically distributed, the independence of in the condition (C1) is the same as in the linear expectation framework, instead of the independence in the nonlinear expectation. Here we need the independence only for simplicity. Without the independence, for example, are weakly dependent, and the conclusions given in the following still hold; for weakly dependent processes and the properties of the estimation, see, for example, Rosenblatt [32, 33], Kolmogorov and Rozanov [34], Bradley and Bryc [35], and Lu and Lin [36]. Furthermore, a common decomposition is built according to the observation time order; more precisely, are reindexed as , and then the index sets s are defined as . It is known that in a small time interval, the characteristic of the data could be regarded as to be changeless exactly or approximately. With this point of view, the condition (C1) is relatively mild. Also we can decompose the index sets according to the values of in a descending order, for example. Moreover, we will further weaken (C1) and suggest a datadriven decomposition after Theorem 5 given in the following.
Denote by the common distribution function of . By the representation theorem of sublinear expectation given in (2), the sublinear expectation loss (9) can be written as , and therefore its empirical version is By minimizing the previous empirical square loss, we obtain the minimax estimator of as It can be easily verified that is a convex function of . Thus the resulting estimator is a unique global optimal solution in the previous optimization problem. Since there is in general no explicit formula for the sublinear expectation nonlinear estimator , the minimization of (13) must usually be carried out by some iterative method. There are two general types of iteration methods: the NewtonRaphson iteration and the GaussNewton iteration. Denote for and , and for simplicity, assume that The previous minimax estimator is asymptotic normally distributed.
In order to give the following theorem, we need the following conditions: (I)the parameter space is compact (closed and bounded), and is its interior point;(II)the following inequality holds: converges uniformly in ;(III) if ;(IV) exist and is nonsingular;(V) converges uniformly in in an open neighborhood of ;(VI) converges uniformly in in an open neighborhood of .
Theorem 5. For the meancertainty model, if the condition (C1) holds, and conditions (I), (II), and (III) hold, as and with probability tending to 1, the estimator defined in (13) satisfies (a) (b) In addition to the previous condition, if conditions (IV), (V), and (VI) hold, as , where stands for convergence in distribution, and is a classical normal distribution.
This theorem establishes the theoretical foundation for further statistical inferences such as constructing confidence interval and test statistic. We can see that the condition (C1) can be replaced by the following relatively weak condition:
(C1') are independent and have an identical distribution.
This condition only involves the errors with indexes in . However, recognizing the fact that the number of data in each small time slice should be relative large, the conditions (C1) and (C1') only apply to highfrequency data. Moreover, by the two conditions, it is implicitly assumed that the index compositions , or are known completely. Under some situations, however, it is difficult or impossible to get such exact compositions in advance. Thus, the datadriven decompositions are desired in practice. Now we briefly discuss this issue. By the condition (C1'), the proof of Theorem 5 and (3), the minimax estimator in (13) can be approximately recasted as Thus, a simple approach is to identify or its subset. Let be the initial compositions according to the observation time order, for example, where . Note that under the model with the mean certainty, the common LS estimator of is consistent. We then arrange , in the descending order as When is relatively small, the index set can be chosen as an initial choice of or a subset of . We can use the data in , together with approximate formula (17) to build the estimator. Since the data size in may be small, it is necessary to enlarge the initial choice . To this end, we consider the following hypothesis testing: where is the supposed variance of for and . The classical methods can be used to test the hypothesis . If is not rejected, then could be chosen as an enlarged choice of . The procedure is repeated until the remainder variances are significantly smaller than .
After the estimator being obtained, a natural prediction of is If the model uncertainty is ignored and the common least squares (LS) method is used to construct the estimator of , then the LS based prediction is Comparing the two estimators by maximum prediction risk and average prediction risk, we have the following conclusion.
Theorem 6. Under the condition of the mean certainty, whether the variance uncertainty exists or not, the following relationships always hold:
Remark 7. The theorem indicates that the sublinear expectation nonlinear regression is a robust strategy that can reduce the maximum prediction risk. Thus, it can be expected that such a regression could be useful for measuring and controlling financial risk.
3.2. The Case of the MeanVariance Uncertainty
We now consider the case of having both the meanuncertainty and the variance uncertainty. In this case has the sublinear expectation given . Theoretically, we should choose , so that it can minimize the sublinear expectation square loss: However, we cannot directly complete the estimation procedure as is unknown usually. We then design a profile estimation procedure as follows. Let be an initial estimator of , which may be the estimator obtained in case of the mean certainty or by common least squares. We then estimate by and finally estimate by Denote , and , and for simplicity, assume for all . By the same argument as in Theorem 5, we can prove that the estimator is asymptotically normal distributed. The following theorem presents the details.
Theorem 8. For meanvariance uncertainty, if the condition C1 holds, and conditions (I), (II), and (III) hold, as and with probability tending to 1, the estimator defined in (25) satisfies (a) (b) In addition to the previous condition, if conditions (IV), (V), and (VI) hold, as , where stands for convergence in distribution and is a classical normal distribution.
For proof of the theorem, see appendices. This theorem establishes a foundation for further statistical inference and data analysis. Here we also need to check the condition C1. From the estimation procedure given previously, we see that it is asymptotically equivalent to determine two index sets, with which the mean of the error and achieve the maximum values and , respectively. The approaches are similar to that used in case of the meancertainty and thus the details are omitted here.
With the estimator, a natural prediction of is Similar to the properties in Theorem 6, the prediction can obtain minimax prediction risk.
Theorem 9. Whether the mean uncertainty and the variance uncertainty exist or not, the following relationship always holds:
It shows that our proposal is a robust strategy and is therefore useful for measuring and controlling financial risk. Meanwhile, the simulation study given in Section 4 will verify that when model has the meanvariance uncertainty, the average prediction error of the new method is usually smaller than that of the LS method; namely,
It is because the prediction bias of is between and , which is not ignorable special for the case of .
4. Simulation Study and Real Data Analysis
4.1. Simulation Study
In this section we present several simulation examples to compare the finitesample performances of the sublinear expectation nonlinear regression proposed in this paper. To get comprehensive comparisons, we use mean square error (MSE), maximum prediction error (MPE), and average prediction error (APE) to assess the different methods. From the simulations given, we will get the following findings: the new methods can significantly reduce the MPE under all the situations; when the model has the mean certainty, the advantages of the new methods over the LS methods are not very obvious; for the model with the mean uncertainty, the prediction of the LS methods does not work and even breaks down, but the new methods can get valid prediction because the impact of the mean uncertainty on the new methods can be successfully eliminated by the use of the sublinear expectation of the error.
Experiment 1. We first consider the following simple nonlinear model:
where . In the simulation procedure, the regression coefficients are chosen as , and the observation values of are independent and identically distributed from . We choose , a Gnormal distribution with certain zero mean. In this case, the model has the mean certainty. The following way is used to generate the data of Gnormal distribution, approximately. Generate variance values , from the uniform distribution , and then generate the values , of from the common normal distribution .
For and , the simulation results are reported in Table 1, in which MSE, MPE, and APE denote the mean squared error, maximum prediction error, and average prediction, respectively; for the definitions of MPE and APE see Theorem 6. It is clear that the MSE and APE of common LS estimation are significantly smaller than those of the Gnormal estimation . Such a result is not surprising because, under the meancertainty model, the common LS estimation is consistent, but the construction of the new estimation only uses the data in a small time interval (the number of the data used to construct the estimator is only 10). On the other hand, the MPE by the new one ?is significantly small than that by the LS estimator , which implies than the new method can reduce the maximum prediction risk and therefore is a robust strategy.
The simulation results in Table 1 indicate that when model has the mean certainty, the advantages of the new methods over the common LS are not rather obvious. Moreover, the new methods even have the disadvantage of instability. In the following, we will see that when model has the meanuncertainty, our new methods have rather clear advantages over the LS based methods.

Experiment 2. We reconsider the nonlinear model where . which is the same in form as in Experiment 1. However, here the model has the meanvariance uncertainty as . The other experiment conditions are designed as , and . The values of are generated by the following way. First, the values of the mean and the values of the variance are generated from the uniform distributions and , respectively, and then the values of are generated from the common normal distribution for . The simulation results are listed in Table 2. For the MSE of the parameter estimation, the results are similar to those in Experiment 1; that is, the MES of the LS estimation is smaller than that of the new estimation because the new method only uses the data in a small subinterval. However, when the mean uncertainty and variance uncertainty appear in the model, both the MPE and the APE of the new one are significantly smaller than those of the LS estimator. Particularly, the prediction by the LS seems to be totally invalid. It indicates that ignoring the model uncertainty will lead to a serious prediction risk.

4.2. Real Data Analysis
Experiment 3. In economics, the CobbDouglas functional form of production functions is widely used to represent the relationship of an output to inputs. It was proposed by Knut Wicksell (1851–1926) and tested against statistical evidence by Charles Cobb and Paul Douglas in 1900–1928. We consider the CobbDouglas production function with an additive error
where is total production (the monetary value of all goods produced in a year), is labor input, is capital input, is total factor productivity, and are the output elasticities of labor and capital, respectively. These values are constants determined by available technology. We assume that the model has the meanvariance uncertainty as .
Here, the statistical data comes from China Statistical Yearbook (2003), total production is the gross domestic product (GDP), labor input is employment, and capital input is fixed asset investment. The simulation results are listed in Table 3. When the mean uncertainty and varianceuncertainty appear in the model, both the MPE and the APE of the new one are significantly smaller than those of the LS estimator. Particularly, the prediction by the LS seems to be totally invalid. It indicates that ignoring the modeluncertainty will lead to a serious prediction risk.
The simulation results in Table 3 indicate that when model has the mean certainty, the advantages of the new methods over the common LS are not rather obvious. Moreover, the new methods even have the disadvantage of instability. In the following, we will see that when model has the meanuncertainty, our new methods have rather clear advantages over the LS based methods.

Appendices
A. Definition of Sublinear Expectation
Let be a given set, and let be a linear space of real valued functions defined on . Suppose that satisfies the following properties: for all , (i)monotonicity: if , then ;(ii)constant preservation: for any constant ;(iii)subadditivity: ;(iv)positive homogeneity: for each .
Then is called a sublinear expectation space.
It can verified that (iii) and (iv) together imply (v)convexity: for .
Furthermore, (ii) and (iii) together lead to (vi)cash translatability: for any constant .
B. Proofs
Proof of Theorem 5. It follows from (C1) that
Consequently,
Then, when is large enough,
It implies that when is large enough, is actually the common LS estimator of obtained by the data with index in the small time interval . By the asymptotic normality of the LS estimation under linear expectation framework, we can get the asymptotic normality of . That is, first, let us consider the part (a) of the Theorem 5 as follows:
First, by a law of large numbers. Secondly, for fixed and , follows from the convergence of by Chebyshevs inequality
By the condition (II), we know that the uniform convergence of follows from the uniform convergence of the righthand side of (B.5). Having thus disposed of and , we need only to prove that is uniquely minimized at . By the condition (II), we know that . Thus, we get the result that as and with probability tending to 1, .
(b) With ease of presentation, we denote . Because is twice continuously differentiable with respect to , the asymptotic normality of the estimator can be derived from the following Taylor expansion:
where is a matrix of secondorder derivatives and lies between and . Since the lefthand side of (B.6) is zero (because ?minimizes ), from (B.6) we obtain
Thus, we are done if we can show that (i) the limit distribution of is normal and (ii) converges in probability to a nonsingular matrix. We will consider these two statements in turn.
The proof of statement (i) is straightforward. Differentiating with respect , we obtain
Evaluating (B.8) at and dividing it by , we have
By the condition (IV) and the LindbergFeller central limit theorem, we can get
Proving (ii) poses a more difficult problem. Differentiating (B.8) again with respect to and dividing by yields
We must show that each of the three terms in the righthand side of (B.11) converges almost surely to a nonstochastic function uniformly in . By the conditions (V) and (VI), we can get
Finally, from (B.7), (B.10), and (B.12), we obtain
Thus we prove the conclusion of theorem.
Proof of Theorem 6. The definitions of the two estimations lead directly to the conclusions of the theorem.
Proof of Theorem 8. From the proof of Theorem 5, we see that is actually the common LS estimator of obtained by data . Thus , where is the true regression coefficient given by (7) in the meancertainty model. Moreover, by the same argument as used in the proof of Theorem 5, we have The previous discussion ensures that where is the distribution of data in . Consequently, On the other hand, Then, where is the covariate matrix with index in . By the similar steps of of Theorem 5, we can prove the conclusion of theorem.
Proof of Theorem 9. The proof of the theorem follows directly from the definitions of the two estimators.
Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NNSF Project (11171188, 11221061, and 11231005) of China, NSF and SRRF Projects (ZR2010AZ001 and BS2011SF006) of Shandong Province of China, and K C WongHKBU Fellowship Programme for Mainland China Scholars 201011.
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Copyright © 2013 Yunquan Song and Lu Lin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.