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Title:On the analysis of stochastic optimization and variational inequality problems
Author(s):Ravat, Uma
Director of Research:Shanbhag, Vinayak V.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Song, Renming
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Shanbhag, Vinayak V.; Sowers, Richard B.; Pang, Jong-Shi
Department / Program:Mathematics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):stochastic variational inequality problems
stochastic optimization
stochastic programming
stochastic nash games
stochastic complementarity problems
stochastic quasi-variational inequalities
conditional value at risk
Abstract:Uncertainty has a tremendous impact on decision making. The more connected we get, it seems, the more sources of uncertainty we unfold. For example, uncertainty in the parameters of price and cost functions in power, transportation, communication and financial systems have stemmed from the way these networked systems operate and also how they interact with one another. Uncertainty influences the design, regulation and decisions of participants in several engineered systems like the financial markets, electricity markets, commodity markets, wired and wireless networks, all of which are ubiquitous. This poses many interesting questions in areas of understanding uncertainty (modeling) and dealing with uncertainty (decision making). This dissertation focuses on answering a set of fundamental questions that pertain to dealing with uncertainty arising in three major problem classes: [(1)] Convex Nash games; [(2)] Variational inequality problems and complementarity problems; [(3)] Hierarchical risk management problems in financial networks. Accordingly, this dissertation considers the analysis of a broad class of stochastic optimization and variational inequality problems complicated by uncertainty and nonsmoothness of objective functions. Nash games and variational inequalities have assumed practical relevance in industry and business settings because they are natural models for many real-world applications. Nash games arise naturally in modeling a range of equilibrium problems in power markets, communication networks, market-based allocation of resources etc. where as variational inequality problems allow for modeling frictional contact problems, traffic equilibrium problems etc. Incorporating uncertainty into convex Nash games leads us to stochastic Nash games. Despite the relevance of stochastic generalizations of Nash games and variational inequalities, answering fundamental questions regarding existence of equilibria in stochastic regimes has proved to be a challenge. Amongst other reasons, the main challenge arises from the nonlinearity arising from the presence of the expectation operator. Despite the rich literature in deterministic settings, direct application of deterministic results to stochastic regimes is not straightforward. The first part of this dissertation explores such fundamental questions in stochastic Nash games and variational inequality problems. Instead of directly using the deterministic results, by leveraging Lebesgue convergence theorems we are able to develop a tractable framework for analyzing problems in stochastic regimes over a continuous probability space. The benefit of this approach is that the framework does not rely on evaluation of the expectation operator to provide existence guarantees, thus making it amenable to tractable use. We extend the above framework to incorporate nonsmoothness of payoff functions as well as allow for stochastic constraints in models, all of which are important in practical settings. The second part of this dissertation extends the above framework to generalizations of variational inequality problems and complementarity problems. In particular, we develop a set of almost-sure sufficiency conditions for stochastic variational inequality problems with single-valued and multi-valued mappings. We extend these statements to quasi-variational regimes as well as to stochastic complementarity problems. The applicability of these results is demonstrated in analysis of risk-averse stochastic Nash games used in Nash-Cournot production distribution models in power markets by recasting the problem as a stochastic quasi-variational inequality problem and in Nash-Cournot games with piecewise smooth price functions by modeling this problem as a stochastic complementarity problem. The third part of this dissertation pertains to hierarchical problems in financial risk management. In the financial industry, risk has been traditionally managed by the imposition of value-at-risk or VaR constraints on portfolio risk exposure. Motivated by recent events in the financial industry, we examine the role that risk-seeking traders play in the accumulation of large and possibly infinite risk. We proceed to show that when traders employ a conditional value-at-risk (CVaR) metric, much can be said by studying the interaction between value at risk (VaR) (a non-coherent risk measure) and conditional value at risk CVaR (a coherent risk measure based on VaR). Resolving this question requires characterizing the optimal value of the associated stochastic, and possibly nonconvex, optimization problem, often a challenging problem. Our study makes two sets of contributions. First, under general asset distributions on a compact support, traders accumulate finite risk with magnitude of the order of the upper bound of this support. Second, when the supports are unbounded, under relatively mild assumptions, such traders can take on an unbounded amount of risk despite abiding by this VaR threshold. In short, VaR thresholds may be inadequate in guarding against financial ruin.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Uma Ravat
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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