CDS Rate Construction Methods by Machine Learning Techniques

51 Pages Posted: 15 May 2017 Last revised: 31 Oct 2018

See all articles by Raymond Brummelhuis

Raymond Brummelhuis

University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne

Zhongmin Luo

Birkbeck, University of London

Date Written: May 12, 2017


Regulators require financial institutions to estimate counterparty default risks from liquid CDS quotes for the valuation and risk management of OTC derivatives. However, the vast majority of counterparties do not have liquid CDS quotes and need proxy CDS rates. Existing methods cannot account for counterparty-specific default risks; we propose to construct proxy CDS rates by associating to illiquid counterparty liquid CDS Proxy based on Machine Learning Techniques. After testing 156 classifiers from 8 most popular classifier families, we found that some classifiers achieve highly satisfactory accuracy rates. Furthermore, we have rank-ordered the performances and investigated performance variations amongst and within the 8 classifier families. This paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first systematic study of CDS Proxy construction by Machine Learning techniques, and the first systematic classifier comparison study based entirely on financial market data. Its findings both confirm and contrast existing classifier performance literature. Given the typically highly correlated nature of financial data, we investigated the impact of correlation on classifier performance. The techniques used in this paper should be of interest for financial institutions seeking a CDS Proxy method, and can serve for proxy construction for other financial variables. Some directions for future research are indicated.

Thanks for the feedbacks from participants at the conferences/seminars; please feel free to check out some of the updated presentation slides: 1. Departmental Seminar of Statistics at London School of Economics, London, Mar. 2017; 2. New Methods, Perspectives and Approaches Seminar at Bank of England, London, Oct. 2017; 3. Machine Learning and AI in Quantitative Finance 2017 Conference, London, Nov. 2017; 4. Machine Learning and AI in Quantitative Finance 2018 Conference, London, Mar. 2018; 5. Call for Paper 2018 Winner of Risk's Quant Summit Europe Conference, London, Mar 2018; 6. Global Finance Conference Jun. 2018, Paris; 7. 10th World Congress of Bachelier Finance Society Jul. 2018, Dublin.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Counterparty Credit Risk, CDS Proxy Method, Classification, CVA, XVA

JEL Classification: C4, C45, C55, C58, C63, G01

Suggested Citation

Brummelhuis, Raymond and Luo, Zhongmin, CDS Rate Construction Methods by Machine Learning Techniques (May 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Raymond Brummelhuis

University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne ( email )

51096 Reims Cedex

Zhongmin Luo (Contact Author)

Birkbeck, University of London ( email )

Malet Street
London, London WC1
United Kingdom

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