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A new approach for crude oil price analysis based on Empirical Mode Decomposition

Xun Zhang, K.K. Lai and Shou-Yang Wang

Energy Economics, 2008, vol. 30, issue 3, 905-918

Abstract: The importance of understanding the underlying characteristics of international crude oil price movements attracts much attention from academic researchers and business practitioners. Due to the intrinsic complexity of the oil market, however, most of them fail to produce consistently good results. Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), recently proposed by Huang et al., appears to be a novel data analysis method for nonlinear and non-stationary time series. By decomposing a time series into a small number of independent and concretely implicational intrinsic modes based on scale separation, EMD explains the generation of time series data from a novel perspective. Ensemble EMD (EEMD) is a substantial improvement of EMD which can better separate the scales naturally by adding white noise series to the original time series and then treating the ensemble averages as the true intrinsic modes. In this paper, we extend EEMD to crude oil price analysis. First, three crude oil price series with different time ranges and frequencies are decomposed into several independent intrinsic modes, from high to low frequency. Second, the intrinsic modes are composed into a fluctuating process, a slowly varying part and a trend based on fine-to-coarse reconstruction. The economic meanings of the three components are identified as short term fluctuations caused by normal supply-demand disequilibrium or some other market activities, the effect of a shock of a significant event, and a long term trend. Finally, the EEMD is shown to be a vital technique for crude oil price analysis.

Date: 2008
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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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