MAT8886 Extremes and sums (of i.i.d. random variables)

January 20, 2012
By

(This article was first published on Freakonometrics - Tag - R-english, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Yesterday, we have discussed briefly sums and maximas of i.i.d. random variables using the concept of subexponential distributions. Today, we will introduce the concept of regular variation: a positive function is said to be regularly varying (at infinity), denoted http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-30.gif, for some http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-31.gif, if

http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-33.gif

for all http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexo_34.gif. An this concept can be related to sums and maxima (see section 6.2.6 in Embrechts et al. (1997)). Consider i.i.d. positive random variables http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subsexp-01.gif: let http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-2.gif and http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-3.gif. Then it can be shown easily that

  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-20.gif if and only if
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-10.gif
  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-21.gif for some http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-23.gif if and only if the exists a non-degenerate variable http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/Z.gif such that
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-13.gif
  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-21.gif with http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-22.gif if and only if
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-14.gif

If is not that simple to check for such convergences, it is still possible to use graphs to study the behavior of the empirical version of those quantities. Consider the following function to visualize convergence of empirical ratios,

CONVERGENCE=function(g,p=1,n=500000){
set.seed(1)
X=g(n);X1=g(n);X2=g(n);X3= g(n);X4=g(n)
Tp =cummax(X^p)/cumsum(X^p)
Tp1=cummax(X1^p)/cumsum(X1^p)
Tp2=cummax(X2^p)/cumsum(X2^p)
Tp3=cummax(X3^p)/cumsum(X3^p)
Tp4=cummax(X4^p)/cumsum(X4^p)
plot(Tp4,type="l",ylim=c(0,1),log="x",
xlim=c(100,n),ylab="",col="light blue",xlab="")
lines(Tp1,col="light green")
lines(Tp2,col="yellow")
lines(Tp3,col="pink")
lines(Tp,lwd=2)
abline(h=0:1,col="red",lty=2)
}

or the following to study the "asymptotic" distribution of the ratio on simulated samples

LIMITDIST=function(g,p=1,n=500000,ns=1000){
set.seed(1)
T=rep(NA,ns)
for(i in 1:ns){
X=g(n)
T[i]=max(X^p)/sum(X^p)
}
hist(T,breaks=seq(0,1,by=.05),probability=TRUE,
col="light green",ylab="",xlab="",main="")
}

In the case of exponentially distributed variables, we have

CONVERGENCE(rexp)

For variables with a lognormal distribution,

CONVERGENCE(rlnorm)

And finally, consider the case of a Pareto distribution

rpareto=function(n){runif(n)^(-1/1.5)-1}
CONVERGENCE(rpareto)

Here, it looks like those three distributions have finite variance (and actually, they do). To go one step further, for http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp00.gif, define http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/suuuuuubexp.gif and http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-5.gif. Then analogous results can be derived,

  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-99.gif if and only if
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-11.gif
  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-21.gif for some http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-25.gif if and only if the exists a non-degenerate variable http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/Zk.gif such that
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-12.gif
  • http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-21.gif with http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-22.gif if and only if
http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/perso5/subexp-15.gif

Again, it is possible to use the function defined above,

CONVERGENCE(rexp,p=2)

or

CONVERGENCE(rexp,p=3)

or even

CONVERGENCE(rexp,p=10)

If the power is not too high, it looks like the ratio goes to zero. But when it becomes larger, it looks like more simulations might be necessary to say something relevant.

CONVERGENCE(rlnorm,p=2)

or

CONVERGENCE(rlnorm,p=3)

Here also, it looks like we have a light tailed distribution (and actually, it is the case). And finally, if we consider the case of a Pareto distribution

CONVERGENCE(rpareto,p=2)

Then it looks like it is an heavy tailed distribution. In order to get a better understanding, plot the distribution of the ratio obtained from 1,000 simulated samples (of size 500,000),

LIMITDIST(rpareto,p=1)

versus

LIMITDIST(rpareto,p=2)

So obviously, something is going on between 1 and 2 (recall that the power parameter of the Pareto distribution is 1.5).

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