Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Engineering

First Adviser

Thiele, Aurelie C.

Other advisers/committee members

Storer, Robert H.; Yale, Wilson; Zuluaga, Luis F.


Risk defined as the chance that the outcome of an uncertain event is different than expected. In practice, the risk reveals itself in different ways in various applications such as unexpected stock movements in the area of portfolio management and unforeseen demand in the field of new product development. In this dissertation, we present four essays on data-driven risk management to address the uncertainty in portfolio management and capacity expansion problems via stochastic and robust optimization techniques.The third chapter of the dissertation (Portfolio Management with Quantile Constraints) introduces an iterative, data-driven approximation to a problem where the investor seeks to maximize the expected return of his/her portfolio subject to a quantile constraint, given historical realizations of the stock returns. Our approach involves solving a series of linear programming problems (thus) quickly solves the large scale problems. We compare its performance to that of methods commonly used in finance literature, such as fitting a Gaussian distribution to the returns. We also analyze the resulting efficient frontier and extend our approach to the case where portfolio risk is measured by the inter-quartile range of its return. Furthermore, we extend our modeling framework so that the solution calculates the corresponding conditional value at risk CVaR) value for the given quantile level.The fourth chapter (Portfolio Management with Moment Matching Approach) focuses on the problem where a manager, given a set of stocks to invest in, aims to minimize the probability of his/her portfolio return falling below a threshold while keeping the expected portfolio returnno worse than a target, when the stock returns are assumed to be Log-Normally distributed. This assumption, common in finance literature, creates computational difficulties. Because the portfolio return itself is difficult to estimate precisely. We thus approximate the portfolio re-turn distribution with a single Log-Normal random variable by the Fenton-Wilkinson method and investigate an iterative, data-driven approximation to the problem. We propose a two-stage solution approach, where the first stage requires solving a classic mean-variance optimization model, and the second step involves solving an unconstrained nonlinear problem with a smooth objective function. We test the performance of this approximation method and suggest an iterative calibration method to improve its accuracy. In addition, we compare the performance of the proposed method to that obtained by approximating the tail empirical distribution function to a Generalized Pareto Distribution, and extend our results to the design of basket options.The fifth chapter (New Product Launching Decisions with Robust Optimization) addresses the uncertainty that an innovative firm faces when a set of innovative products are planned to be launched a national market by help of a partner company for each innovative product. Theinnovative company investigates the optimal period to launch each product in the presence of the demand and partner offer response function uncertainties. The demand for the new product is modeled with the Bass Diffusion Model and the partner companies' offer response functions are modeled with the logit choice model. The uncertainty on the parameters of the Bass Diffusion Model and the logic choice model are handled by robust optimization. We provide a tractable robust optimization framework to the problem which includes integer variables. In addition, weprovide an extension of the proposed approach where the innovative company has an option to reduce the size of the contract signed by the innovative firm and the partner firm for each product.In the sixth chapter (Log-Robust Portfolio Management with Factor Model), we investigate robust optimization models that address uncertainty for asset pricing and portfolio management. We use factor model to predict asset returns and treat randomness by a budget of uncertainty. We obtain a tractable robust model to maximize the wealth and gain theoretical insights into the optimal investment strategies.

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Engineering Commons