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This is an extended version of the paper presented at the 4th International Workshop NFMCP 2015 held in conjunction with ECML PKDD 2015. The initial version has been published in NFMCP 2015 conference proceedings as part of Springer Series. This paper presents a novel approach to financial times series (FTS) prediction by mapping hourly foreign exchange data to string representations and deriving simple trading strategies from them. To measure the degree of similarity in these market strings we apply familiar string kernels, bag of words and n-grams, whilst also introducing a new kernel, time-decay n-grams, that captures the temporal nature of FTS. In the process we propose a sequential Parzen windows algorithm based on discrete representations where trading decisions for each string are learned in an online manner and are thus subject to temporal fluctuations. We evaluate the strength of a number of representations using both the string version and its continuous counterpart, whilst also comparing the performance of different learning algorithms on these representations, namely support vector machines, Parzen windows and Fisher discriminant analysis. Our extensive experiments show that the simple string representation coupled with the sequential Parzen windows approach is capable of outperforming other more exotic approaches, supporting the idea that when it comes to working in high noise environments often the simplest approach is the most effective.
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- Discrete representation strategies for foreign exchange prediction
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