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The nearest correlation matrix problem: Solution by differential evolution method of global optimization

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Abstract

Correlation matrices have many applications, particularly in marketing and financial economics - such as in risk management, option pricing and to forecast demand for a group of products in order to realize savings by properly managing inventories, etc. Various methods have been proposed by different authors to solve the nearest correlation matrix problem by majorization, hypersphere decomposition, semi-definite programming, or geometric programming, etc. In this paper we propose to obtain the nearest valid correlation matrix by the differential evaluation method of global optimization. We may draw some conclusions from the exercise in this paper. First, the ‘nearest correlation matrix problem may be solved satisfactorily by the evolutionary algorithm like the differential evolution method/Particle Swarm Optimizer. Other methods such as the Particle Swarm method also may be used. Secondly, these methods are easily amenable to choice of the norm to minimize. Absolute, Frobenius or Chebyshev norm may easily be used. Thirdly, the ‘complete the correlation matrix problem’ can be solved (in a limited sense) by these methods. Fourthly, one may easily opt for weighted norm or un-weighted norm minimization. Fifthly, minimization of absolute norm to obtain nearest correlation matrices appears to give better results. In solving the nearest correlation matrix problem the resulting valid correlation matrices are often near-singular and thus they are on the borderline of semi-negativity. One finds difficulty in rounding off their elements even at 6th or 7th places after decimal, without running the risk of making the rounded off matrix negative definite. Such matrices are, therefore, difficult to handle. It is possible to obtain more robust positive definite valid correlation matrices by constraining the determinant (the product of eigenvalues) of the resulting correlation matrix to take on a value significantly larger than zero. But this can be done only at the cost of a compromise on the criterion of ‘nearness.’ The method proposed by us does it very well.

Suggested Citation

  • Mishra, SK, 2007. "The nearest correlation matrix problem: Solution by differential evolution method of global optimization," MPRA Paper 2760, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Apr 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2760
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44809/9/MPRA_paper_44809.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Mishra, SK, 2009. "A note on positive semi-definiteness of some non-pearsonian correlation matrices," MPRA Paper 15725, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Correlation matrix; product moment; nearest; complete; positive semi-definite; majorization; hypersphere decomposition; semi-definite programming; geometric programming; Particle Swarm; Differential Evolution; Particle Swarm Optimization; Global Optimization; risk management; option pricing; financial economics; marketing; computer program; Fortran; norm; absolute; maximum; Frobenius; Chebyshev; Euclidean;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • C88 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other Computer Software
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • G19 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Other

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