Cardinality versus q-Norm Constraints for Index Tracking
21 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2010
Date Written: July 22, 2010
Index tracking aims at replicating a given benchmark with a smaller number of its constituents. Different quantitative models can be set up to determine the optimal index replicating portfolio. In this paper, we propose an alternative based on imposing a constraint on the q-norm, 0 < q < 1, of the replicating portfolios' asset weights: the q-norm constraint regularises the problem and identifiesa sparse model. Both approaches are challenging from an optimisation viewpoint due to either the presence of the cardinality constraint or a non-convex constraint on the q-norm. The problem can become even more complex when non-convex distance measures or other real-world constraints are considered. We employ a hybrid heuristic as a flexible tool to tackle both optimisation problems. The empirical analysis on real-world financial data allows to compare the two index tracking approaches. Moreover, we propose a strategy to determine the optimal number of constituents and the corresponding optimal portfolio asset weights.
Keywords: Index tracking, Cardinality constraint, q-Norm, Regularization methods, Heuristic algorithms
JEL Classification: C15, C61, G11
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