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Risk-Seeking versus Risk-Avoiding Investments in Noisy Periodic Environments

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  • J. Emeterio Navarro Barrientos
  • Frank E. Walter
  • Frank Schweitzer

Abstract

We study the performance of various agent strategies in an artificial investment scenario. Agents are equipped with a budget, $x(t)$, and at each time step invest a particular fraction, $q(t)$, of their budget. The return on investment (RoI), $r(t)$, is characterized by a periodic function with different types and levels of noise. Risk-avoiding agents choose their fraction $q(t)$ proportional to the expected positive RoI, while risk-seeking agents always choose a maximum value $q_{max}$ if they predict the RoI to be positive ("everything on red"). In addition to these different strategies, agents have different capabilities to predict the future $r(t)$, dependent on their internal complexity. Here, we compare 'zero-intelligent' agents using technical analysis (such as moving least squares) with agents using reinforcement learning or genetic algorithms to predict $r(t)$. The performance of agents is measured by their average budget growth after a certain number of time steps. We present results of extensive computer simulations, which show that, for our given artificial environment, (i) the risk-seeking strategy outperforms the risk-avoiding one, and (ii) the genetic algorithm was able to find this optimal strategy itself, and thus outperforms other prediction approaches considered.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Emeterio Navarro Barrientos & Frank E. Walter & Frank Schweitzer, 2008. "Risk-Seeking versus Risk-Avoiding Investments in Noisy Periodic Environments," Papers 0801.4305, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:0801.4305
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    1. Navarro-Barrientos, Jesús Emeterio & Cantero-Álvarez, Rubén & Matias Rodrigues, João F. & Schweitzer, Frank, 2008. "Investments in random environments," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(8), pages 2035-2046.

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