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Professor Ruodu Wang received a $120,000 Discovery Accelerator Supplement (DAS) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for a proposal titled “Model Uncertainty and Robustness in Risk Management.”  Ruodu Wang holds a University Research Chair in the Department of Statistics and  Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo.

The following is Professor Wang's winning proposal abstract.

The overall aim of this proposal is to develop the mathematical and economic theory as well as statistical and computational methods for model uncertainty and robustness in financial and insurance risk management. Model uncertainty and robustness issues, concerning “incorrect, unjustified or misused model outputs and reports", have appeared as a central component of the current challenges in risk management and regulation. We address model uncertainty along several directions of practical importance in finance and insurance.

First, dependence uncertainty in risk aggregation, as a challenging yet common situation in practice due to challenges in high-dimensional statistical modeling and data limitation, has recently been a very popular research topic in risk management. Developing a risk evaluation procedure which allows for computing practically employable assessments of risk aggregation under dependence uncertainty is well known to be highly challenging. We address this problem by borrowing techniques from recent research development in the literature of robust optimization and dependence modeling.
Second, we investigate robustness issues in risk measures and the optimization of risk, thus addressing the quantitative consequences of managing and optimizing risks according to slightly wrong assumptions, a most relevant situation.
Third, we bring model uncertainty into the problems of risk sharing and economic equilibrium for various settings of risk managers and financial contexts, and analyze the effect of model uncertainty and heterogeneous beliefs in a complex financial system. Along the way, we develop profound mathematical tools for fields related to the above problems, such as measure theory, decision theory, copulas, game theory, statistical robustness, non-convex optimizations, and probabilistic combinatorics.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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