On Importance Sampling and Dependence Modeling

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: This thesis consists of four papers.In the first paper, Monte Carlo simulation for tail probabilities of heavy-tailed random walks is considered. Importance sampling algorithms are constructed by using mixtures of the original distribution with some other state-dependent distributions. Sufficient conditions under which the relative error of such algorithms is bounded are found, and the bound is calculated. A new mixture algorithm based on scaling of the original distribution is presented and compared to existing algorithms.In the second paper, Monte Carlo simulation of quantiles is treated. It is shown that by using importance sampling algorithms developed for tail probability estimation, efficient quantile estimators can be obtained. A functional limit of the quantile process under the importance sampling measure is found, and the variance of the limit process is calculated for regularly varying distributions. The procedure is also applied to the calculation of expected shortfall. The algorithms are illustrated numerically for a heavy-tailed random walk.In the third paper, large deviation probabilities for a sum of dependent random variables are derived. The dependence stems from a few underlying random variables, so-called factors. Each summand is composed of two parts: an idiosyncratic part and a part given by the factors. Conditions under which both factors and idiosyncratic components contribute to the large deviation behavior are found, and the resulting approximation is evaluated in a simple example.In the fourth paper, the asymptotic eigenvalue distribution of the exponentially weighted moving average covariance estimator is studied. Equations for the asymptotic spectral density and the boundaries of its support are found using the Marchenko-Pastur theorem.