Selective Prediction of Financial Trends with Hidden Markov Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Dmitry Pidan, Ran El-Yaniv


Focusing on short term trend prediction in a financial context, we consider the problem of selective prediction whereby the predictor can abstain from prediction in order to improve performance. We examine two types of selective mechanisms for HMM predictors. The first is a rejection in the spirit of Chow’s well-known ambiguity principle. The second is a specialized mechanism for HMMs that identifies low quality HMM states and abstain from prediction in those states. We call this model selective HMM (sHMM). In both approaches we can trade-off prediction coverage to gain better accuracy in a controlled manner. We compare performance of the ambiguity-based rejection technique with that of the sHMM approach. Our results indicate that both methods are effective, and that the sHMM model is superior.