Monday, May 11, 2009

Why scientists and decision makers need intermediaries

From my ScienceDirect feeds this morning:

The development of new models that would enhance predictability for time series with dynamic time-varying, nonlinear features is a major challenge for speculators. Boundedly rational investors called “chartists” use advanced heuristics and rules-of-thumb to make profit by trading, or even hedge against potential market risks. This paper introduces a hybrid neurofuzzy system for decision-making and trading under uncertainty. The efficiency of a technical trading strategy based on the neurofuzzy model is investigated, in order to predict the direction of the market for 10 of the most prominent stock indices of U.S.A, Europe and Southeast Asia. It is demonstrated via an extensive empirical analysis that the neurofuzzy model allows technical analysts to earn significantly higher returns by providing valid information for a potential turning point on the next trading day. The total profit of the proposed neurofuzzy model, including transaction costs, is consistently superior to a recurrent neural network and a Buy & Hold strategy for all indices, particularly for the highly speculative, emerging Southeast Asian markets. Optimal prediction is based on the dynamic update and adaptive calibration of the heuristic fuzzy learning rules, which reflect the psychological and behavioral patterns of the traders.

This paper develops an efficient heuristic to solve two typical combinatorial optimization problems frequently met when designing highly reliable systems. The first one is the redundancy allocation problem (RAP) of series-parallel binary-state systems. The design goal of the RAP is to select the optimal combination of elements and redundancy levels to maximize system reliability subject to the system budget and to the system weight. The second problem is the expansion-scheduling problem (ESP) of multi-state series-parallel systems. In this problem, the study period is divided into several stages. At each stage, the demand is represented as a piecewise cumulative load curve. During the system lifetime, the demand can increase and the total productivity may become insufficient to assume the demand. To increase the total system productivity, elements are added to the existing system. The objective in the ESP is to minimize the sum of costs of the investments over the study period while satisfying availability constraints at each stage. The heuristic approach developed to solve the RAP and the ESP is based on a combination of space partitioning, genetic algorithms (GA) and tabu search (TS). After dividing the search space into a set of disjoint subsets, this approach uses GA to select the subspaces, and applies TS to each selected subspace. Numerical results for the test problems from previous research are reported and compared. The results show the advantages of the proposed approach for solving both problems.

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