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Activity Number: 630
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Thursday, August 4, 2016 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: WNAR
Abstract #318081
Title: HVAR: High-Dimensional Forecasting via Interpretable Vector Autoregression
Author(s): David Matteson* and William B. Nicholson and Jacob Bien
Companies: Cornell University and Cornell University and Cornell University
Keywords: Big Data ; Econometrics ; Forecasting ; Group Lasso ; Time Series

Vector autoregression (VAR) is a fundamental tool for modeling multivariate time series. However, as the number of component series is increased, the VAR model becomes overparameterized. Several authors have addressed this issue by incorporating regularized approaches, such as the lasso. Traditional approaches consider selecting a low lag order, based on the assumption of short range dependence, assuming that a universal lag order applies to all components. Such an approach constrains the relationship between the components and impedes forecast performance. The lasso-based approaches work much better in high-dimensional situations but ignore the notion of lag order selection. We propose a new class of regularized VAR models, called hierarchical vector autoregression (HVAR), that embed the notion of lag selection into a convex regularizer. The key modeling tool is a group lasso with nested groups which guarantees that the sparsity pattern of lag coefficients honors the VAR's ordered structure. A simulation study and applications demonstrate improved performance in forecasting and lag order selection over previous approaches, and highlight HVAR's convenient, interpretable output.

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