Modeling Earthquake Dynamics

In 2012, with Marilou Durand, student at UQAM, we have been working on the seismic gap hypothesis, see e.g. McCann et al. (1978) or Kagan & Jackson (1991), or to be more specific, on the dynamics between earthquakes magnitude (or seismic moment) and inter-occurence durations. Our paper should appear soon in the Journal of Seismology,

In this paper, we investigate questions arising in Parsons & Geist (2012). Pseudo causal models connecting magnitudes and waiting times are consider, through generalized regression. We do use conditional model (magnitude given previous waiting time, and conversely) as an extension to joint distribution model described in Nikoloulopoulos & Karlis (2008). On the one hand, we fit a Pareto distribution for earthquake magnitudes, where the tail index is a function of waiting time following previous earthquake; on the other hand, waiting times are modeled using a Gamma or a Weibull distribution, where parameters are function of the magnitude of the previous earthquake. We use those two models, alternatively, to generate the dynamics of earthquake occurrence, and to estimate the probability of occurrence of several earthquakes within a year, or a decade.

The paper is online on https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/.

Earthquake dynamics

I just upload on http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00871883 a joint paper entitled Modeling earthquake dynamics.

In this paper, we investigate questions arising in Parsons & Geist (2012). Pseudo causal models connecting magnitudes and waiting times are consider, through generalized regression. We do use conditional model (magnitude given previous waiting time, and conversely) as an extension to joint distribution model described in Nikoloulopoulos & Karlis (2008). On the one hand, we fit a Pareto distribution for earthquake magnitudes, where the tail index is a function of waiting time following previous earthquake; on the other hand, waiting times are modeled using a Gamma or a Weibull distribution, where parameters are function of the magnitude of the previous earthquake. We use those two models, alternatively, to generate the dynamics of earthquake occurrence, and to estimate the probability of occurrence of several earthquakes within a year, or a decade.

How old is the oldest person you know?

Last week, we had a discussion with some colleagues about the fact that – in order to prepare for the SOA exams – we did not have time (so far) to mention results on extreme values in our actuarial program. I did gave an introduction in my nonlife actuarial models class, but it was only an introduction, in three hours, in order to illustrate reinsurance pricing. And I told my students that if they wanted to know more about extreme values, they should start a master program in actuarial science and finance, since I will give a course on extremes (and copulas) next winter.

But actually, extreme values are everywhere ! For instance, there is a Prudential TV commercial where has people place large, round stickers on a number line to represent the age of the oldest person they know. This forms some kind of histogram. The message is to have Prudential prepare you to have adequate money for all these years. And actually, anyone can add his or her own sticker at the Prudential website.

Patrick Honner, on his blog (http://mrhonner.com/…), did mention this interesting representation. But this idea is not new, as mentioned in a post, published three years ago. In 1932, Emil Gumbel gave a talk in France on the “âge limite“. And as he wrote it “on peut donc supposer que la distribution de l’âge limite – c’est à dire la probabilité que cet âge ait une valeur donnée – soit Gaussienne“. In 1932 (not aware of Fisher and Tippett work, he thought that the limiting distribution for a maximum would be Gaussian). But a few years after, he read about Fisher’s work, and observed also that “la distribution d’une valeur extrêmes peut être représentée pour un nombre suffisant d’observations par la formule doublement exponentielle, pourvu que la distribution initiale se comporte asymptotiquement comme une exponentielle. La formule devient rigoureuse si la distribution initiale est exponentielle“, as he wrote in 1935. And in 1937, he wrote a paper on “les centennaires” that can also be related to the work of Bortkiewicz on rare events. One should also mention one of the most important paper in extreme value theory, published in 1974 by Balkema and de Haan, on Residual Life Time at Great Age.

Because in this experiment, the question is “How Old is the Oldest Person You Know?“, so it is the distribution of a maximum. And from Fisher-Tippett theorem, if we assume that the age is bounded (and that there exists some finite upper limit), then the limiting distribution for the maxima (or to be more rigorous, a affine transformation of the maxima) should be Weibull distribution. And this is what it looks like

`> plot(-x,dweibull(x,2.25,4),type="l",lwd=2)`

As an actuary, the only thing I know about demography, is the distribution of the age of death. For instance, consider the following French life table

```> alive <- read.table(
+ "https://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/arthur.charpentier/TV8890.csv",
> nb= -diff(alive)
> ages=0:110
> plot(ages,nb,type="h")```

This is the distribution of the age of the death in a given population. Which is not the same as the distribution mentioned above! What we look for is the following: given that someone is alive, what could be the distribution of his-her age ? Actually, if we assume that the yearly number of birth is constant with time (as well as death probability), then we can compute easily to number of people of age $x$ : we take everyone born (exactly) $x$ years ago, and remove all those who died at at $x$, $x-1$, etc. So the function should be

```> probadeath=nb/sum(nb)
> surv=Vectorize(nbx)(ages)
> distrage=surv/sum(surv)```

which looks like

But this assumption of constant number of birth is not that relevent. And actually, what we need is the distribution of the age within a population… This is a population pyramid, actually. The French one can be downloaded from http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/….

```> population <- read.table("popinsee2007.csv",sep=";",header=TRUE)\$POPTOT07
> ages=0:107
> plot(ages,population/sum(population),type="h")```

(the red line being the one obtained previously, using some natality assumptions). Now, let us use this population to generate acquaintances.

```> agemax=function(nsim=1000,size=20){
+ agemax=rep(NA,nsim)
+ for(i in 1:nsim){
+ X=sample(ages,prob=population/sum(population),size=size,replace=TRUE)
+ agemax[i]=max(X)}
+ return(agemax)}```

Here, we assume that everyone knows 20 other people, randomly chosen in the entire population, then we return the age of the oldest. And we do that for 1,000 people. Here is the distribution, we obtain

```> XS=agemax(10000,20)
> plot(table(XS)/length(XS),type="h",xlim=c(0,108))```

where the red line is a Weibull distribution (a transformed one, actually, since in extremely value theory, the distance to the upper bound of the distribution has a Weibull density),

```> library(MASS)
> fit=fitdistr(108-XS,dweibull,list(shape=1,scale=1))
> lines(ages,dweibull(108-ages,fit\$estimate[1],fit\$estimate[2]),col="red")```

Which is quite close to the distribution obtained in the commercial, don’t you think ? But still, it should be possible to be more accurate, since people should think of their parents, or grandparents. So I guess it could be possible to build a more accurate algorithm, to get something closer to the distribution obtained on the Prudential website. But first, let us wait to have more stickers, more observations… and then I’ll be back to play with it !

Fisher-Tippett theorem with an historical perspective

A couple of weeks ago, Rafael asked me if I had something on the history of extreme value theory. Since I will get back to fundamental results about extremes in my course, I promised I will write down a short post on all that issue.

To start from the beginning, in 1928, Ronald Fisher and Leonard Tippett formulated the three types of limiting distributions for the maximum term of a random sample (Fisher & Tippett (1928)). The problem was to characterize function such that

where where ‘s are i.i.d. with cumulative distribution function . They had supporting arguments, but no (rigorous) proof. Nevertheless, the obtained that the only possible types for G were

i.e. Fréchet type (Pareto-type tails), or

i.e. Weibull type (bounded distribution type), or

i.e. Gumbel type (exponential-type tails). Emil Gumbel has been intensively using the so-called Gumbel distribution on river flows, since (as he explained in 1958), “it seems that the rivers know the theory. It only remains to convince the engineers of the validity of this analysis“.
Independently of that work (published in 1928), Maurice Fréchet considered in 1927 (in Sur la loi de probabilité de l’écart maximum) possible limits of

and obtained only as possible limit. Richard von Mises gave in 1936 sufficient, but not necessary conditions for their (max) domain of attraction, i.e. characterization of function such that the maxima converges to some specific function (von Mises (1936)). E.g. he noticed that a sufficient condition on to be in the (max) domain of attraction of the Gumbel distribution is that

Then in 1943, Boris Gnedenko gave a complete characterization of those three types, with a complete characterization for two of them (heavy tails, i.e. Fréchet type and bounded support, i.e. Weibull) but his necessary and sufficient condition was based on a function that was not explicitly defined (see Gnedenko (1943)). Laurens de Haan in the 70’s derived checkable condition for Gumbel’s type.
Boris Gnedenko proved (in Section 4 of his paper) that F is the (max) domain of attraction of if and only if is regularly varying at infinity, with index (even if the term “regular variation” was not mentioned in the paper). Similar results were derived to characterize functions in the (max) domain of attraction of Weibull. For the (max) domain of attraction of , Boris Gnedenko obtained that a necessary and sufficient condition was that there exists a function such goes to 0 at infinity and

Several papers have discussed what function could be e.g. David Mejzler in 1949 (in Russian, but see also his 1965 paper), and Laurens de Hann in 1970 and 1971 (following the dramatic flood in the Netherlands in 1953, researchers in the Netherlands have focuses on dikes, and extreme value applications).

Mejzler’s idea was to work on quantiles, and not on the cumulative distribution function. I.e. define

Then a necessary and sufficient condition for F to be in the (max) domain of attraction of is that

Laurens de Haan proved in 1971 that function can be – in general – given by

And in 1976, Laurens de Haan obtained a three-type convergence working on quantile function (with a much shorter proof).
There have been many many papers extending Fisher-Tippett’s theorem, e.g. on non-independent sequences, like exchangeable ones (in a paper by Simeon Berman in 1962, or on stationary Gaussian sequences in 1964).

Fisher-Tippett theorem and limiting distribution for the maximum

Tomorrow, we will discuss Fisher-Tippett theorem. The idea is that there are only three possible limiting distributions for normalized versions of the maxima of i.i.d. samples . For bounded distribution, consider e.g. the uniform distribution on the unit interval, i.e.  on the unit interval. Let  and . Then, for all  and ,

i.e. the limiting distribution of the maximum is Weibull’s.

```set.seed(1)
s=1000000
n=100
M=matrix(runif(s),n,s/n)
V=apply(M,2,max)
bn=1
an=1/n
U=(V-bn)/an
hist(U,probability=TRUE,,col="light green",
xlim=c(-7,1),main="",breaks=seq(-20,10,by=.25))
u=seq(-10,0,by=.1)
v=exp(u)
lines(u,v,lwd=3,col="red")```

For heavy tailed distribution, or Pareto-type tails, consider Pareto samples, with distribution function . Let  and , then

which means that the limiting distribution is Fréchet’s.

```set.seed(1)
s=1000000
n=100
M=matrix((runif(s))^(-1/2),n,s/n)
V=apply(M,2,max)
bn=0
an=n^(1/2)
U=(V-bn)/an
hist(U,probability=TRUE,col="light green",
xlim=c(0,7),main="",breaks=seq(0,max(U)+1,by=.25))
u=seq(0,10,by=.1)
v=dfrechet(u,shape=2)
lines(u,v,lwd=3,col="red")```

For light tailed distribution, or exponential tails, consider e.g. a sample of exponentially distribution variates, with common distribution function . Let  and , then

i.e. the limiting distribution for the maximum is Gumbel’s distribution.

```library(evd)
set.seed(1)
s=1000000
n=100
M=matrix(rexp(s,1),n,s/n)
V=apply(M,2,max)
(bn=qexp(1-1/n))
log(n)
an=1
U=(V-bn)/an
hist(U,probability=TRUE,col="light green",
xlim=c(-2,7),ylim=c(0,.39),main="",breaks=seq(-5,15,by=.25))
u=seq(-5,15,by=.1)
v=dgumbel(u)
lines(u,v,lwd=3,col="red")```

Consider now a Gaussian  sample. We can use the following approximation of the cumulative distribution function (based on l’Hopital’s rule)

as . Let  and . Then we can get

as . I.e. the limiting distribution of the maximum of a Gaussian sample is Gumbel’s. But what we do not see here is that for a Gaussian sample, the convergence is extremely slow, i.e., with 100 observations, we are still far away from Gumbel distribution,

and it is only slightly better with 1,000 observations,

```set.seed(1)
s=10000000
n=1000
M=matrix(rnorm(s,0,1),n,s/n)
V=apply(M,2,max)
(bn=qnorm(1-1/n,0,1))
an=1/bn
U=(V-bn)/an
hist(U,probability=TRUE,col="light green",
xlim=c(-2,7),ylim=c(0,.39),main="",breaks=seq(-5,15,by=.25))
u=seq(-5,15,by=.1)
v=dgumbel(u)
lines(u,v,lwd=3,col="red")```

Even worst, consider lognormal observations. In that case, recall that if we consider (increasing) transformation of variates, we are in the same domain of attraction. Hence, since , if

then

i.e. using Taylor’s approximation on the right term,

This gives us normalizing coefficients we should use here.

```set.seed(1)
s=10000000
n=1000
M=matrix(rlnorm(s,0,1),n,s/n)
V=apply(M,2,max)
bn=exp(qnorm(1-1/n,0,1))
an=exp(qnorm(1-1/n,0,1))/(qnorm(1-1/n,0,1))
U=(V-bn)/an
hist(U,probability=TRUE,col="light green",
xlim=c(-2,7),ylim=c(0,.39),main="",breaks=seq(-5,40,by=.25))
u=seq(-5,15,by=.1)
v=dgumbel(u)
lines(u,v,lwd=3,col="red")```