This was part of Decision Making and Uncertainty

Offline reinforcement learning for price impact models

Yufei Zhang, Imperial College London

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Abstract: We consider an offline learning problem for an agent who first estimates an unknown price impact kernel from a static dataset, and then designs strategies to liquidate a risky asset while creating transient price impact. We propose a novel approach for a nonparametric estimation of the propagator from a dataset containing correlated price trajectories, trading signals and metaorders. We quantify the accuracy of the estimated propagator using a metric which depends explicitly on the dataset. We show that a trader who tries to minimise her execution costs by using a greedy strategy purely based on the estimated propagator will encounter suboptimality due to spurious correlation between the trading strategy and the estimator. By adopting an offline reinforcement learning approach, we introduce a pessimistic loss functional taking the uncertainty of the estimated propagator into account, with an optimiser which eliminates the spurious correlation, and derive an asymptotically optimal bound on the execution costs even without precise information on the true propagator. Numerical experiments are included to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed propagator estimator and the pessimistic trading strategy.