Publication
IJCAI 2020
Conference paper

Task-based learning via task-oriented prediction network with applications in finance

Abstract

Real-world applications often involve domain-specific and task-based performance objectives that are not captured by the standard machine learning losses, but are critical for decision making. A key challenge for direct integration of more meaningful domain and task-based evaluation criteria into an end-to-end gradient-based training process is the fact that often such performance objectives are not necessarily differentiable and may even require additional decision-making optimization processing. We propose the Task-Oriented Prediction Network (TOPNet), an end-to-end learning scheme that automatically integrates task-based evaluation criteria into the learning process via a learnable surrogate loss function, which directly guides the model towards the task-based goal. A major benefit of the proposed TOPNet learning scheme lies in its capability of automatically integrating non-differentiable evaluation criteria, which makes it particularly suitable for diversified and customized task-based evaluation criteria in real-world tasks. We validate the performance of TOPNet on two real-world financial prediction tasks, revenue surprise forecasting and credit risk modeling. The experimental results demonstrate that TOPNet significantly outperforms both traditional modeling with standard losses and modeling with hand-crafted heuristic differentiable surrogate losses.

Date

07 Jan 2021

Publication

IJCAI 2020

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