Accounting for Secondary Uncertainty: Efficient Computation of Portfolio Risk Measures on Multi and Many Core Architectures

Blesson Varghese, Andrew Rau-Chaplin
Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
arXiv:1310.2274 [cs.DC], (8 Oct 2013)


   author={Varghese}, B. and {Rau-Chaplin}, A.},

   title={"{Accounting for Secondary Uncertainty: Efficient Computation of Portfolio Risk Measures on Multi and Many Core Architectures}"},

   journal={ArXiv e-prints},




   keywords={Computer Science – Distributed, Parallel, and Cluster Computing, Computer Science – Computational Engineering, Finance, and Science},




   adsnote={Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


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Aggregate Risk Analysis is a computationally intensive and a data intensive problem, thereby making the application of high-performance computing techniques interesting. In this paper, the design and implementation of a parallel Aggregate Risk Analysis algorithm on multi-core CPU and many-core GPU platforms are explored. The efficient computation of key risk measures, including Probable Maximum Loss (PML) and the Tail Value-at-Risk (TVaR) in the presence of both primary and secondary uncertainty for a portfolio of property catastrophe insurance treaties is considered. Primary Uncertainty is the the uncertainty associated with whether a catastrophe event occurs or not in a simulated year, while Secondary Uncertainty is the uncertainty in the amount of loss when the event occurs. A number of statistical algorithms are investigated for computing secondary uncertainty. Numerous challenges such as loading large data onto hardware with limited memory and organising it are addressed. The results obtained from experimental studies are encouraging. Consider for example, an aggregate risk analysis involving 800,000 trials, with 1,000 catastrophic events per trial, a million locations, and a complex contract structure taking into account secondary uncertainty. The analysis can be performed in just 41 seconds on a GPU, that is 24x faster than the sequential counterpart on a fast multi-core CPU. The results indicate that GPUs can be used to efficiently accelerate aggregate risk analysis even in the presence of secondary uncertainty.
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