# AI For Trading:Overfitting Exercise (119)

## Overfitting Exercise

In this exercise, we'll build a model that, as you'll see, dramatically overfits the training data. This will allow you to see what overfitting can "look like" in practice.

import os
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import math
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

For this exercise, we'll use gradient boosted trees. In order to implement this model, we'll use the XGBoost package.

! pip install xgboost
Requirement already satisfied: xgboost in /opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages (0.90)
Requirement already satisfied: scipy in /opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from xgboost) (0.19.1)
Requirement already satisfied: numpy in /opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from xgboost) (1.12.1)
import xgboost as xgb

Here, we define a few helper functions.

# number of rows in a dataframe
def nrow(df):
return(len(df.index))

# number of columns in a dataframe
def ncol(df):
return(len(df.columns))

# flatten nested lists/arrays
flatten = lambda l: [item for sublist in l for item in sublist]

# combine multiple arrays into a single list
def c(*args):
return(flatten([item for item in args]))

In this exercise, we're going to try to predict the returns of the S&P 500 ETF. This may be a futile endeavor, since many experts consider the S&P 500 to be essentially unpredictable, but it will serve well for the purpose of this exercise. The following cell loads the data.

df = pd.read_csv("SPYZ.csv")

As you can see, the data file has four columns, Date, Close, Volume and Return.

df.head()
Date Close Volume Return
0 1999-12-31 146.8750 3172700 0.001598
1 2000-01-03 145.4375 8164300 -0.009787
2 2000-01-04 139.7500 8089800 -0.039106
3 2000-01-05 140.0000 12177900 0.001789
4 2000-01-06 137.7500 6227200 -0.016071
n = nrow(df)

Next, we'll form our predictors/features. In the cells below, we create four types of features. We also use a parameter, K, to set the number of each type of feature to build. With a K of 25, 100 features will be created. This should already seem like a lot of features, and alert you to the potential that the model will be overfit.

predictors = []

# we'll create a new DataFrame to hold the data that we'll use to train the model
# we'll create it from the Return column in the original DataFrame, but rename that column y
model_df = pd.DataFrame(data = df['Return']).rename(columns = {"Return" : "y"})

# IMPORTANT: this sets how many of each of the following four predictors to create
K = 25

Now, you write the code to create the four types of predictors.

for L in range(1,K+1):
# this predictor is just the return L days ago, where L goes from 1 to K
# these predictors will be named R1, R2, etc.
pR = "".join(["R",str(L)])
predictors.append(pR)
for i in range(K+1,n):
# TODO: fill in the code to assign the return from L days before to the ith row of this predictor in model_df
model_df.loc[i, pR] = df.loc[i-L, 'Return']

# this predictor is the return L days ago, squared, where L goes from 1 to K
# these predictors will be named Rsq1, Rsq2, etc.
pR2 = "".join(["Rsq",str(L)])
predictors.append(pR2)
for i in range(K+1,n):
# TODO: fill in the code to assign the squared return from L days before to the ith row of this predictor
# in model_df
model_df.loc[i, pR2] = (df.loc[i-L, 'Return']) ** 2

# this predictor is the log volume L days ago, where L goes from 1 to K
# these predictors will be named V1, V2, etc.
pV = "".join(["V",str(L)])
predictors.append(pV)
for i in range(K+1,n):
# TODO: fill in the code to assign the log of the volume from L days before to the ith row of this predictor
# in model_df
# Add 1 to the volume before taking the log
model_df.loc[i, pV] = math.log(1.0 + df.loc[i-L, 'Volume'])

# this predictor is the product of the return and the log volume from L days ago, where L goes from 1 to K
# these predictors will be named RV1, RV2, etc.
pRV = "".join(["RV",str(L)])
predictors.append(pRV)
for i in range(K+1,n):
# TODO: fill in the code to assign the product of the return and the log volume from L days before to the
# ith row of this predictor in model_df
model_df.loc[i, pRV] = model_df.loc[i,pR] * model_df.loc[i, pV]

Let's take a look at the predictors we've created.

model_df.iloc[100:105,:]
y R1 Rsq1 V1 RV1 R2 Rsq2 V2 RV2 R3 ... V23 RV23 R24 Rsq24 V24 RV24 R25 Rsq25 V25 RV25
100 0.016304 -0.014726 0.000217 15.892349 -0.234024 -0.007529 0.000057 16.198698 -0.121956 -0.018688 ... 15.959991 0.076664 -0.009302 0.000087 15.695540 -0.145995 0.026421 0.000698 16.209371 0.428273
101 -0.017157 0.016304 0.000266 16.221058 0.264474 -0.014726 0.000217 15.892349 -0.234024 -0.007529 ... 16.372203 -0.177882 0.004804 0.000023 15.959991 0.076664 -0.009302 0.000087 15.695540 -0.145995
102 0.001133 -0.017157 0.000294 15.929221 -0.273290 0.016304 0.000266 16.221058 0.264474 -0.014726 ... 16.461827 0.683503 -0.010865 0.000118 16.372203 -0.177882 0.004804 0.000023 15.959991 0.076664
104 0.000657 0.034194 0.001169 15.494960 0.529838 0.001133 0.000001 15.387039 0.017437 -0.017157 ... 16.562480 -0.054770 -0.011285 0.000127 15.858172 -0.178954 0.041520 0.001724 16.461827 0.683503

Next, we create a DataFrame that holds the recent volatility of the ETF's returns, as measured by the standard deviation of a sliding window of the past 20 days' returns.

vol_df = pd.DataFrame(data = df[['Return']])

for i in range(K+1,n):
# TODO: create the code to assign the standard deviation of the return from the time period starting
# 20 days before day i, up to the day before day i, to the ith row of vol_df
vol_df.loc[i, 'vol'] = np.std(vol_df.loc[(i-20):(i-1), 'Return'])

Let's take a quick look at the result.

vol_df.iloc[100:105,:]
Return vol
100 0.016304 0.013069
101 -0.017157 0.013615
102 0.001133 0.014007
103 0.034194 0.014008
104 0.000657 0.015792

Now that we have our data, we can start thinking about training a model.

# for training, we'll use all the data except for the first K days, for which the predictors' values are NaNs
model = model_df.iloc[K:n,:]

In the cell below, first split the data into train and test sets, and then split off the targets from the predictors.

# Split data into train and test sets
train_size = 2.0/3.0
breakpoint = round(nrow(model) * train_size)

# TODO: fill in the code to split off the chunk of data up to the breakpoint as the training set, and
# assign the rest as the test set.
training_data = model.iloc[1:breakpoint,:]

test_data = model.loc[breakpoint : nrow(model),]

# TODO: Split training data and test data into targets (Y) and predictors (X), for the training set and the test set
X_train = training_data.iloc[:,1:ncol(training_data)]
Y_train = training_data.iloc[:,0]
X_test = test_data.iloc[:, 1:ncol(training_data)]
Y_test = test_data.iloc[:,0]
           y        R1      Rsq1         V1       RV1        R2      Rsq2  \
26  0.013608 -0.001534  0.000002  15.581234 -0.023908 -0.004146  0.000017
27 -0.021004  0.013608  0.000185  15.412167  0.209736 -0.001534  0.000002
28  0.001990 -0.021004  0.000441  15.956929 -0.335166  0.013608  0.000185
29 -0.020309  0.001990  0.000004  15.716214  0.031282 -0.021004  0.000441
30  0.005859 -0.020309  0.000412  16.102901 -0.327034  0.001990  0.000004

V2       RV2        R3    ...           V23      RV23       R24  \
26  15.409916 -0.063895  0.015064    ...     16.315133  0.029185 -0.039106
27  15.581234 -0.023908 -0.004146    ...     15.644438 -0.251429  0.001789
28  15.412167  0.209736 -0.001534    ...     15.903243  0.923601 -0.016071
29  15.956929 -0.335166  0.013608    ...     15.563249  0.053390  0.058076
30  15.716214  0.031282 -0.021004    ...     15.821534 -0.209601  0.003430

Rsq24        V24      RV24       R25     Rsq25        V25      RV25
26  0.001529  15.906115 -0.622027 -0.009787  0.000096  15.915282 -0.155767
27  0.000003  16.315133  0.029185 -0.039106  0.001529  15.906115 -0.622027
28  0.000258  15.644438 -0.251429  0.001789  0.000003  16.315133  0.029185
29  0.003373  15.903243  0.923601 -0.016071  0.000258  15.644438 -0.251429
30  0.000012  15.563249  0.053390  0.058076  0.003373  15.903243  0.923601

[5 rows x 101 columns]

Great, now that we have our data, let's train the model.

# DMatrix is a internal data structure that used by XGBoost which is optimized for both memory efficiency
# and training speed.
dtrain = xgb.DMatrix(X_train, Y_train)

# Train the XGBoost model
param = { 'max_depth':20, 'silent':1 }
num_round = 20
xgModel = xgb.train(param, dtrain, num_round)
/opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages/xgboost/core.py:587: FutureWarning: Series.base is deprecated and will be removed in a future version
if getattr(data, 'base', None) is not None and \
/opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages/xgboost/core.py:588: FutureWarning: Series.base is deprecated and will be removed in a future version
data.base is not None and isinstance(data, np.ndarray) \

Now let's predict the returns for the S&P 500 ETF in both the train and test periods. If the model is successful, what should the train and test accuracies look like? What would be a key sign that the model has overfit the training data?

Todo: Before you run the next cell, write down what you expect to see if the model is overfit.

# Make the predictions on the test data
preds_train = xgModel.predict(xgb.DMatrix(X_train))
preds_test = xgModel.predict(xgb.DMatrix(X_test))

Let's quickly look at the mean squared error of the predictions on the training and testing sets.

# TODO: Calculate the mean squared error on the training set
msetrain = sum((preds_train-Y_train)**2)/len(preds_train)
msetrain
Exception ignored in: <bound method Booster.__del__ of <xgboost.core.Booster object at 0x7f6da6e7d780>>
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/opt/conda/lib/python3.6/site-packages/xgboost/core.py", line 957, in __del__
if self.handle is not None:
AttributeError: 'Booster' object has no attribute 'handle'

1.6237099209080407e-06
# TODO: Calculate the mean squared error on the test set
msetest =  sum((preds_test-Y_test)**2)/len(preds_test)
msetest
7.711855498216044e-05

Looks like the mean squared error on the test set is an order of magnitude greater than on the training set. Not a good sign. Now let's do some quick calculations to gauge how this would translate into performance.

# combine prediction arrays into a single list
predictions = c(preds_train, preds_test)
responses = c(Y_train, Y_test)

# as a holding size, we'll take predicted return divided by return variance
# this is mean-variance optimization with a single asset
vols = vol_df.loc[K:n,'vol']
position_size = predictions / vols ** 2

# TODO: Calculate pnl. Pnl in each time period is holding * realized return.
performance = position_size * responses

# plot simulated performance
plt.plot(np.cumsum(performance))
plt.ylabel('Simulated Performance')
plt.axvline(x=breakpoint, c = 'r')
plt.show() Our simulated returns accumulate throughout the training period, but they are absolutely flat in the testing period. The model has no predictive power whatsoever in the out-of-sample period.

Can you think of a few reasons our simulation of performance is unrealistic?

# TODO: Answer the above question.