# Bounding sums of random variables, part 2

It is possible to go further, much more actually, on bounding sums of random variables (mentioned in the previous post). For instance, if everything has been defined, in that previous post, on distributions on , it is possible to extend bounds of distributions on . Especially if we deal with quantiles. Everything we’ve seen remain valid. Consider for instance two  distributions. Using the previous code, it is possible to compute bounds for the quantiles of the sum of two Gaussian variates. And one has to remember that those bounds are sharp.

> Finv=function(u) qnorm(u,0,1)
> Ginv=function(u) qnorm(u,0,1)
> n=1000
> Qinf=Qsup=rep(NA,n-1)
> for(i in 1:(n-1)){
+ J=0:i
+ Qinf[i]=max(Finv(J/n)+Ginv((i-J)/n))
+ J=(i-1):(n-1)
+ Qsup[i]=min(Finv((J+1)/n)+Ginv((i-1-J+n)/n))
+ }

Actually, it is possible to compare here with two simple cases: the independent case, where the sum has a  distribution, and the comonotonic case where the sum has a  distribution.

>  lines(x,qnorm(x,sd=sqrt(2)),col="blue",lty=2)
>  lines(x,qnorm(x,sd=2),col="blue",lwd=2)

On the graph below, the comonotonic case (usually considered as the worst case scenario) is the plain blue line (with here an animation to illustrate the convergence of the numerical algorithm) Below that (strong) blue line, then risks are sub-additive for the Value-at-Risk, i.e.

but above, risks are super-additive for the Value-at-RIsk. i.e.

(since for comonotonic variates, the quantile of the sum is the sum of quantiles). It is possible to visualize those two cases above, in green the area where risks are super-additive, while the yellow area is where risks are sub-additive. Recall that with a Gaussian random vector, with correlation  then the quantile is the quantile of a random variable centered, with variance . Thus, on the graph below, we can visualize case that can be obtained with this Gaussian copula. Here the yellow area can be obtained with a Gaussian copulas, the upper and the lower bounds being respectively the comonotonic and the countermononic cases. But the green area can also be obtained when we sum two Gaussian variables ! We just have to go outside the Gaussian world, and consider another copula.

Another point is that, in the previous post,  was the lower Fréchet-Hoeffding bound on the set of copulas. But all the previous results remain valid if  is alower bound on the set of copulas of interest. Especially

for all  such that . For instance, if we assume that the copula should have positive dependence, i.e. , then

Which means we should have sharper bounds. Numerically, it is possible to compute those sharper bounds for quantiles. The lower bound becomes

while the upper bound is

Again, one can easily compute those quantities on a grid of the unit interval,

> Qinfind=Qsupind=rep(NA,n-1)
> for(i in 1:(n-1)){
+  J=1:(i)
+  Qinfind[i]=max(Finv(J/n)+Ginv((i-J)/n/(1-J/n)))
+  J=(i):(n-1)
+  Qsupind[i]=min(Finv(J/n)+Ginv(i/J))
+ }

We get the graph below (the blue area is here to illustrate how sharper those bounds get with the assumption that we do have positive dependence, this area been attained only with copulas exhibiting non-positive dependence) For high quantiles, the upper bound is rather close to the one we had before, since worst case are probably obtained when we do have positive correlation. But it will strongly impact the lower bound. For instance, it becomes now impossible to have a negative quantile, when the probability exceeds 75% if we do have positive dependence…

> Qinfind[u==.75]
 0

# Bounding sums of random variables, part 1

For the last course MAT8886 of this (long) winter session, on copulas (and extremes), we will discuss risk aggregation. The course will be mainly on the problem of bounding  the distribution (or some risk measure, say the Value-at-Risk) for two random variables with given marginal distribution. For instance, we have two Gaussian risks. What could be be worst-case scenario for the 99% quantile of the sum ? Note that I mention implications in terms of risk management, but of course, those questions are extremely important in terms of statistical inference, see e.g. Fan & Park (2006).

This problem, is sometimes related to some question asked by Kolmogorov almost one hundred years ago, as mentioned in Makarov (1981). One year after, Rüschendorf (1982) also suggested a proof of bounds calculation. Here, we focus in dimension 2. As usual, it is the simple case. But as mentioned recently, in Kreinovich & Ferson (2005), in dimension 3 (or higher), “computing the best-possible bounds for arbitrary n is an NP-hard (computationally intractable) problem“. So let us focus on the case where we sum (only) two random variable (for those interested in higher dimension, Puccetti & Rüschendorf (2012) provided interesting results for a dual version of those optimal bounds).

Let denote the set of univariate continuous distribution function, left-continuous, on . And the set of distributions on . Thus, if and . Consider now two distributions . In a very general setting, it is possible to consider operators on . Thus, let denote an operator, increasing in each component, thus that . And consider some function assumed to be also increasing in each component (and continuous). For such functions and , define the following (general) operator, as

One interesting case can be obtained when is a copula, . In that case,

and further, it is possible to write

It is also possible to consider other (general) operators, e.g. based on the sum

or on the minimum,

where is the survival copula associated with , i.e. . Note that those operators can be used to define distribution functions, i.e.

and similarly

All that seems too theoretical ? An application can be the case of the sum, i.e. , in that case is the distribution of sum of two random variables with marginal distributions and , and copula . Thus, is simply the convolution of two distributions,

The important result (that can be found in Chapter 7, in Schweizer and Sklar (1983)) is that given an operator , then, for any copula , one can find a lower bound for

as well as an upper bound

Those inequalities come from the fact that for all copula , , where is a copula. Since this function is not copula in higher dimension, one can easily imagine that get those bounds in higher dimension will be much more complicated…

In the case of the sum of two random variables, with marginal distributions and , bounds for the distribution of the sum , where and , can be written

for the lower bound, and

for the upper bound. And those bounds are sharp, in the sense that, for all , there is a copula such that

and there is (another) copula such that

Thus, using those results, it is possible to bound cumulative distribution function. But actually, all that can be done also on quantiles (see Frank, Nelsen & Schweizer (1987)). For all let denotes its generalized inverse, left continuous, and let denote the set of those quantile functions. Define then the dual versions of our operators,

and

Those definitions are really dual versions of the previous ones, in the sense that and .

Note that if we focus on sums of bivariate distributions, the lower bound for the quantile of the sum is

while the upper bound is

A great thing is that it should not be too difficult to compute numerically those quantities. Perhaps a little bit more for cumulative distribution functions, since they are not defined on a bounded support. But still, if the goal is to plot those bounds on , for instance. The code is the following, for the sum of two lognormal distributions .

> F=function(x) plnorm(x,0,1)
> G=function(x) plnorm(x,0,1)
> n=100
> X=seq(0,10,by=.05)
> Hinf=Hsup=rep(NA,length(X))
> for(i in 1:length(X)){
+ x=X[i]
+ U=seq(0,x,by=1/n); V=x-U
+ Hinf[i]=max(pmax(F(U)+G(V)-1,0))
+ Hsup[i]=min(pmin(F(U)+G(V),1))}

If we plot those bounds, we obtain

> plot(X,Hinf,ylim=c(0,1),type="s",col="red")
> lines(X,Hsup,type="s",col="red") But somehow, it is even more simple to work with quantiles since they are defined on a finite support. Quantiles are here

> Finv=function(u) qlnorm(u,0,1)
> Ginv=function(u) qlnorm(u,0,1)

The idea will be to consider a discretized version of the unit interval as discussed in Williamson (1989), in a much more general setting. Again the idea is to compute, for instance

The idea is to consider and , and the bound for the quantile function at point is then

The code to compute those bounds, for a given is here

> n=1000
> Qinf=Qsup=rep(NA,n-1)
> for(i in 1:(n-1)){
+ J=0:i
+ Qinf[i]=max(Finv(J/n)+Ginv((i-J)/n))
+ J=(i-1):(n-1)
+ Qsup[i]=min(Finv((J+1)/n)+Ginv((i-1-J+n)/n))
+ }

Here we have (several s were considered, so that we can visualize the convergence of that numerical algorithm), Here, we have a simple code to visualize bounds for quantiles for the sum of two risks. But it is possible to go further…

# Quantile de sommes, ou somme de quantiles ?

Je reprends ici un commentaire que j’ai longtemps entendu dans mon expérience d’actuaire dans une vie antérieure (et qu’on peut lire – entre les lignes le plus souvent – dans certaines réactions de risk managers). Les quantiles sont la base des mesures de risques, en particulier via la VaR en finance, mais quand j’étais actuaire, on calculait des 90/10 pour désigner des quantiles à 90% des pertes. Donc tout ça n’est pas spécialement nouveau. Je rappelle que la fonction quantile est simplement où Les quantiles sont calculés par type de risque (en gestion des risques), et forcément à la fin, on souhaite un quantile de la somme des risques, et il a longtemps été coutume de prendre la somme des quantiles. Je vais donc discuter un peu le résultat suivant, • L’égalité n’est pas vraie dans le cas indépendant

Suite à une espère de déformation professionnelle (à cause de la variance), beaucoup de monde pense que mais ce résultat est faux…. Un exemple est d’ailleurs donné ci-dessous dans le cas de variables exponentielles.

• L’égalité est vraie dans le cas comonotone…

En fait, le résultat précédant est vrai dans le cas comonotone. La comonotonie correspond au cas de dépendance parfaite positive, de corrélation maximale (si la corrélation existe), i.e. avec une fonction strictement croissante. Alors • … mais ce n’est pas un “worst case

Seconde bizarrerie, la comonotonie n’est pas le pire des cas. La comonotonie est souvent envisagée comme un worst case scenario mais il n’en est rien (cette idée se retrouve dans les QIS 3 par exemple, ici).
Formellement, si (la classe de Fréchet), alors et En passant en dimension 2 (cas où la borne inférieure est effectivement une vraie fonction de répartition), si et désignent respectivement des version anticomonotone et comonotone de , alors on peut se demander, en considérant une mesure de risque quelconque si En fait, Andre Tchen a montré en 1980 un résultat qui montre que la comonotonie est effectivement un worst case, mais seulement dans certains cas très limités.
Si est une fonction supermodulaire, i.e. pour tout et . Alors dans ce cas, pour tout , (la preuve se trouve ici). Je renvoie aux papiers de Michel Denuit, de Jan Dhaene ou de Marc Goovarts (ici ou ) pour des applications en tarification sur deux têtes, par exemple, ou sur les primes stop-loss en réassurance

• Borner (numériquement) le quantile d’une somme

Commençons par un exemple, avec deux lois exponentielles, car c’est le plus simple, et surtout on peut calculer explicitement les bornes (dans le cas général, on se contentera de méthode numérique comme l’avait fait Khalil ici).
Si et , où, pour être plus précis,  est valide pour tout quelle que soit la structure de dépendance entre et , où Aussi, en prenant les inverses (car ces fonctions sont strictement croissante), on obtient une inégalité en terme de quantile, ou de Value-at-Risk, pour tout .
Rappelons que dans le cas de variables indépendantes alors que dans le cas comonotone . La figure ci-dessous montre les valeurs possible pour  la fonction de répartition de la somme, avec le cas indépendant en bleu, et le cas comotonone en rouge. On peut aussi visualiser les valeurs possibles pour les quantiles de la somme. Dans un cas général, Ce problème a été traité par Makarov en 1981, et par Frank, Nelsen et Schweizer en 1997 (ici), tout en restant en dimension 2. En fait, ils ont travaillé sur les bornes de la fonction de répartition d’une somme mais c’est pareil, comme on l’a vu juste auparavant. Ils ont montré le résultat suivant: si alors pour tout   désigne la copule anticomonotone (qui est une copule en dimension 2), en posant , et On peut retrouver des résultats plus fin en creusant dans la direction de l’arithmetic probability, par exemple avec la thèse de Williamson (ici, cette thèse est remarquable, et trop peu citée, malheureusement). Je ne parle que de la dimension 2, l’extension en dimension supérieure est délicate (je renvoie aux travaux de Paul Embrechts sur le sujet, ici ou , par exemple).