Inferring agent objectives at different scales of a complex adaptive system

12/04/2017 ∙ by Dieter Hendricks, et al. ∙ 0

We introduce a framework to study the effective objectives at different time scales of financial market microstructure. The financial market can be regarded as a complex adaptive system, where purposeful agents collectively and simultaneously create and perceive their environment as they interact with it. It has been suggested that multiple agent classes operate in this system, with a non-trivial hierarchy of top-down and bottom-up causation classes with different effective models governing each level. We conjecture that agent classes may in fact operate at different time scales and thus act differently in response to the same perceived market state. Given scale-specific temporal state trajectories and action sequences estimated from aggregate market behaviour, we use Inverse Reinforcement Learning to compute the effective reward function for the aggregate agent class at each scale, allowing us to assess the relative attractiveness of feature vectors across different scales. Differences in reward functions for feature vectors may indicate different objectives of market participants, which could assist in finding the scale boundary for agent classes. This has implications for learning algorithms operating in this domain.

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