Mathematical Finance Colloquium: Finance and Statistics: Trading Analogies for Sequential Learning

Monday, March 8 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

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Martin Larsson, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: The goal of sequential learning is to draw inference from data that is gathered gradually through time. This is a typical situation in many applications, including finance. A sequential inference procedure is `anytime-valid’ if the decision to stop or continue an experiment can depend on anything that has been observed so far, without compromising statistical error guarantees. A recent approach to anytime-valid inference views a test statistic as a bet against the null hypothesis. These bets are constrained to be supermartingales - hence unprofitable - under the null, but designed to be profitable under the relevant alternative hypotheses. This perspective opens the door to tools from financial mathematics. In this talk I will discuss how notions such as supermartingale measures, log-optimality, and the optional decomposition theorem shed new light on anytime-valid sequential learning. (This talk is based on joint work with Wouter Koolen (CWI), Aaditya Ramdas (CMU) and Johannes Ruf (LSE).)

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