Robust Multivariate and Nonlinear Time Series Models

Time series modeling and analysis is central to most financial and econometric data modeling. With increased globalization in trade, commerce and finance, national variables like gross domestic productivity (GDP) and unemployment rate, market variables like indices and stock prices and global variables like commodity prices are more tightly coupled than ever before. This translates to the use of multivariate or vector time series models and algorithms in analyzing and understanding the relationships that these variables share with each other. Autocorrelation is one of the fundamental aspects of time series modeling. However, traditional linear models, that arise from a strong observed autocorrelation in many financial and econometric time series data, are at times unable to capture the rather nonlinear relationship that characterizes many time series data. This necessitates the study of nonlinear models in analyzing such time series. The class of bilinear models is one of the simplest nonlinear models. These models are able to capture temporary erratic fluctuations that are common in many financial returns series and thus, are of tremendous interest in financial time series analysis. Another aspect of time series analysis is homoscedasticity versus heteroscedasticity. Many time series data, even after differencing, exhibit heteroscedasticity. Thus, it becomes important to incorporate this feature in the associated models. The class of conditional heteroscedastic autoregressive (ARCH) models and its variants form the primary backbone of conditional heteroscedastic time series models. Robustness is a highly underrated feature of most time series applications and models that are presently in use in the industry. With an ever increasing amount of information available for modeling, it is not uncommon for the data to have some aberrations within itself in terms of level shifts and the occasional large fluctuations. Conventional methods like the maximum likelihood and least squares are well known to be highly sensitive to such contaminations. Hence, it becomes important to use robust methods, especially in this age with high amounts of computing power readily available, to take into account such aberrations. While robustness and time series modeling have been vastly researched individually in the past, application of robust methods to estimate time series models is still quite open. The central goal of this thesis is the study of robust parameter estimation of some simple vector and nonlinear time series models. More precisely, we will briefly study some prominent linear and nonlinear models in the time series literature and apply the robust S-estimator in estimating parameters of some simple models like the vector autoregressive (VAR) model, the (0, 0, 1, 1) bilinear model and a simple conditional heteroscedastic bilinear model. In each case, we will look at the important aspect of stationarity of the model and analyze the asymptotic behavior of the S-estimator.

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