Task-Based Learning via Task-Oriented Prediction Network with Applications in Finance [article]

Di Chen, Yada Zhu, Xiaodong Cui, Carla P. Gomes
2020 arXiv   pre-print
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
more » ... g. 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.
arXiv:1910.09357v4 fatcat:eltssi4gfzfh5juzj3nc74ssua