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An intelligent financial portfolio trading strategy using deep Q-learning

Hyungjun Park, Min Kyu Sim and Dong Gu Choi

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Abstract: Portfolio traders strive to identify dynamic portfolio allocation schemes so that their total budgets are well allocated through the investment horizon. This study proposes a novel portfolio trading strategy in which an intelligent agent is trained to identify an optimal trading action by using an algorithm called deep Q-learning. This study formulates a portfolio trading process as a Markov decision process in which the agent can learn about the financial market environment, and it identifies a deep neural network structure as an approximation of the Q-function. To ensure applicability to real-world trading, we devise three novel techniques that are both reasonable and implementable. First, the agent's action space is modeled as a combinatorial action space of trading directions with prespecified trading sizes for each asset. Second, we introduce a mapping function that can replace an initially-determined action that may be infeasible with a feasible action that is reasonably close to the original, ideal action. Last, we introduce a technique by which an agent simulates all feasible actions in each state and learns about these experiences to derive a multi-asset trading strategy that best reflects financial data. To validate our approach, we conduct backtests for two representative portfolios and demonstrate superior results over the benchmark strategies.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big and nep-cmp
Date: 2019-07, Revised 2019-08
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