# Graphical Tools for Exploring and Analyzing Data From ARIMA Time Series Models

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1 Graphical Tools for Exploring and Analyzing Data From ARIMA Time Series Models William Q. Meeker Department of Statistics Iowa State University Ames, IA January 13, 2001 Abstract S-plus is a highly interactive programming environment for data analysis and graphics. The S-plus also contains a high-level language for specifying computations and writing functions. This document describes S-plus functions that integrate and extend existing S-plus functions for graphical display and analysis of time series data. These new functions allow the user to identify a model, estimate the model parameters, and forecast future values of a univariate time-series by using ARIMA (or Box-Jenkins) models. Use of these functions provides rapid feedback about time-series data and fitted models. These functions make it easy to fit, check and compare ARIMA models. Key Words: S-plus, ARIMA model, nonstationary time-series data, identification, estimation and diagnostic checking. 1 Introduction 1.1 Time-series data Time series data are collected and analyzed in a wide variety of applications and for many different reasons. One common application of time series analysis is for short-term forecasting. Example 1.1 Figure 1 shows seasonally adjusted quarterly time series data on savings rate as a percent of disposable personal income for the years 1955 to 1979, as reported by the U.S department of Commerce. An economist might analyze these data in order to generate forecasts for future quarters. These data will be used as one of the examples in this document. 1

2 Billions of Dollars Year Figure 1: Savings rate as a percent of disposable personal income for the years 1955 to 1979 Thousands of Passengers Year Figure 2: Number of international airline passengers from 1949 to

3 Description Process Generates Data Realization Z 1, Z 2,..., Zn Statistical Model for the Process (Stochastic Process Model) Estimates for Model Parameters Inferences Forecasts Control Figure 3: Schematic showing the relationship between a data-generating process and the statistical model used to represent the process Example 1.2 Figure 2 shows seasonal monthly time series data on the number of international airline passengers from 1949 to These data show upward trend and a strong seasonal pattern. 1.2 Basic ideas Box and Jenkins (1969) show how to use Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models to describe model time series data, and to generate short-term forecasts. A univariate ARIMA model is an algebraic statement describing how observations on a time series are statistically related to past observations and past residual error terms from the same time series. Time-series data refer to observations on a variable that occur in a time sequence; usually, the observations are equally spaced in time and this is required for the Box-Jenkins methods described in this document. ARIMA models are also useful for forecasting data series that contain seasonal (or periodic) variation. The goal is to find a parsimonious ARIMA model with the smallest number of estimated parameters needed to fit adequately the patterns in the available data. As shown in Figure 3, a stochastic process model is used to represent the data-generating process of interest. Data and knowledge of the process are used to identify a model. Data is then used to fit the model to the data (by estimating model parameters). After the model has been checked, it can be used for forecasting or other purposes (e.g., explanation or control). 1.3 Strategy for finding an adequate model Figure 4 outlines the general strategy for finding an adequate ARIMA model. This strategy involves three steps: tentative identification, estimation, and diagnostic checking. Each of these steps will be explained and illustrated in the following sections of this document. 3

4 Tentative Identification Time Series Plot Range-Mean Plot ACF and PACF Estimation Least Squares or Maximum Likelihood Diagnostic Checking Residual Analysis and Forecasts No Model ok? Yes Use the Model Forecasting Explanation Control Figure 4: Flow diagram of iterative model-building steps 4

5 1.4 Overview This document is organized as follows: Section 2 briefly outlines the character of the S-plus software that we use as a basis for the graphically-oriented analyses described in this document. Section 3 introduces the basic ARMA model and some of its properties, including a model s true autocorrelation (ACF) and partial autocorrelation functions (PACF). Section 4 introduces the basic ideas behind tentative model identification, showing how to compute and interpret the sample autocorrelation (ACF) and sample partial autocorrelation functions (PACF). Section 5 explains the important practical ideas behind the estimation of ARMA model parameters. Section 6 describes the use of diagnostic checking methods for detecting possible problems in a fitted model. As in regression modeling, these methods center on residual analysis. Section 7 explains how forecasts and forecast prediction intervals can be generated for ARMA models. Section 8 indicated how the ARMA model can be used, indirectly to model certain kinds of nonstationary models by using transformations (e.g., taking logs) and differencing of the original time series (leading to ARIMA models). Section 9 extends the ARIMA models to Seasonal SARIMA models. Section 10 shows how to fit SARIMA time series models to seasonal data. Each of these sections use examples to illustrate the use of the new S-plus functions for time series analysis. At the end of this document there are a number of appendices that contain additional useful information. In particular, Appendix A gives information on how to set up your Vincent account to use the special time series functions (if you have been to a Statistics 451 workshop, you have seen most this material before. Appendix B provides detailed instructions on how to print graphics from S-plus on Vincent. Again, this information was explained in the Splus workshop. Appendix C explains the use of the Emacs Smode that allows the use of S-plus from within Emacs a very powerful tool. Appendix D provides a brief description and detailed documentation on the special S-plus functions that have been developed especially for Statistics

6 Appendix E contains a long list of Splus commands that have been used to analyze a large number of different example (real and simulated) time series. These commands also appear at the end of the Statistics 451 file splusts.examples.q. Students can use the commands in this file to experiment with the different functions. 2 Computer Software The S-plus functions described in this document were designed to graphically guide the user through the three stages (tentative identification, estimation, and forecasting) of time-series analysis. The software is based on S-plus. S-plus is a software system that runs under the UNIX and MS/DOS operating systems on a variety of hardware configurations (but only on Vincent at ISU). 2.1 S-plus concepts S-plus is an integrated computing environment for data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display. Among other things it has: An effective data handling and storage facility, A suite of operators for calculations on arrays and, in particular, matrices. A large collection of intermediate tools for data analysis. Graphical facilities for data display either at a terminal or on hard copy. A well developed, simple and effective programming language which includes conditionals, loops, user-defined functions, and input and output facilities. Much of the S-plus system itself is written in the S-plus language and advanced users can add their own S-plus functions by writing in this language. This document describes a collection of such functions for time series analysis. One does not, however, have to understand the S-plus language in order to do high-level tasks (like using the functions described in this document). 2.2 New S-plus functions for time series analysis The following is a brief description of each of the S-PlusTS functions (written in the Splus language) for time series. Some of these functions are for data analysis and model building. Others provide properties of specified models. There are also S-PlusTS functions that use simulation to provide experience in model building and interpretation of graphical output. Definition of terms, instructions for use, and examples are given in the following sections. Detailed documentation is contained in Appendix D. Function read.ts is used to read a time series into S-plus and construct a data structure containing information about the time series. This data set is then used as input to the iden and esti functions. 6

7 Function iden provides graphical (and tabular) information for tentative identification of ARMA, ARIMA, and SARIMA models. For a particular data set, specified transformation (default is no transformation) and amount of differencing (default is no differencing), the function provides the following: Plot of the original data or transformed data. If there is no differencing, range-mean plot of the transformed data, which is used to check for nonstationary variance. Plots of the sample ACF and PACF of the possibly transformed and differenced time series. Function esti, for a specified data set and model, estimates the parameters of the specified ARMA, ARIMA or SARIMA model and provides diagnostic checking output and forecasts in graphical form. Graphical outputs and statistics given are: Parameter estimates with their approximate standard errors and t-like ratios. Estimated variance and the standard deviation of the random shocks. Plot of the residual ACF. Plots of the residuals versus time and residuals versus fitted values. Plot of the actual and fitted values versus time and also forecasted values versus time with their 95% prediction interval. Normal probability plot of residuals. Function plot.true.acfpacf computes and plots the true ACF and PACF functions for a specified model and model parameters. Function arma.roots will graphically display the roots of a specified AR or MA defining polynomial. It will plot the polynomial and the roots of the polynomial, relative to the unit circle. This will allow easy assessment of stationarity (for AR polynomials) and invertibility (for MA polynomials). Function model.pdq allows the user to specify, in a very simple form, an ARMA, ARIMA, or SARIMA model to be used as input to function esti. Function new.model.like.tseries allows the user to specify an ARMA, ARIMA, or SARIMA model in a form that is more general than that allowed by the simpler function model.pdq. It allows the inclusion of high-order terms without all of the low-order terms. Function add.text is useful for adding comments or other text to a plot. Function iden.sim is designed to give users experience in identifying ARMA models based on simulated data from a randomly simulated model. It is also possible to specify a particular model from which data are to be simulated. 7

8 Function multiple.acf.sim allows the user to assess the variability (i.e., noise) that one will expect to see in sample ACF functions. The function allows the user to assess the effect that realization size will have on one s ability to correctly identify an ARMA model. Function multiple.pi.sim allows the user to assess the variability (i.e., noise) that one will expect to see in a sequence of computed prediction intervals. The function allows the user to assess the effect of sample size and confidence level on the size and probability of correctness of a simulated sequence of prediction intervals. Function multiple.probplot.sim allows the user to assess the variability (i.e., noise) that one will expect to see in a sequence of probability plots. The function allows the user to assess the effect of sample size has on one s ability to discriminate among distributional models. 2.3 Creating a data structure S-plus object to serve as input to the iden and esti functions Before using the iden and esti functions, it is necessary to read data from an ASCII file. The read.ts function reads data, title, time and period information, and puts all of the information into one S-plus object, making it easy to use the data analysis functions iden and esti. This function can be used in the interactive mode or in the command mode. Example 2.1 To read the savings rate data introduced in Example 1.1, using the interactive mode, give the following S-plus commands and then respond to the various prompts: > savings.rate.d <- read.ts(path="/home/wqmeeker/stat451/splus/data") Input unix file name: savings_rate.dat Input data title: US Savings Rate for Input response units: Percent of Disposable Income Input frequency: 4 Input start.year: 1955 Input start.month: 1 The file savings.rate.dat is in the /home/wqmeeker/stat451/data/ path (along with a number of other stat451 data sets). You do not need to specify the path if the data is in your /stat451 directory. When you want to input your own data, put it is an ascii flat file and give it a name like xxxx.dat where xxxx is a meaningful name for the time series. Then the read.ts command will generate a data set savings.rate.d. This dataset provides input for our other S-PlusTS functions. Instead of answering all of the questions, another alternative is to use the command option to create the input data structure. 8

9 Example 2.2 To read the savings rate quarterly data introduced in Example 1.1, using the command option use the following command. savings.rate.d <- read.ts( file.name="/home/wqmeeker/stat451/data/savings_rate.dat", title="us Savings Rate for ", series.units="percent of Disposable Income", frequency=4, start.year=1955, start.month=1,time.units="year") This command creates an S-plus object savings.rate.d. Notice that, for quarterly data, the inputs frequency, start.year, andstart.month specifying the seasonality, are given in a manner that is analogous to monthly data. Example 2.3 To read the airline passenger monthly data introduced in Example 1.2, use the following command. airline.d <- read.ts(file.name="/home/wqmeeker/stat451/data/airline.dat", title="international Airline Passengers", series.units="thousands of Passengers", frequency=12, start.year=1949, start.month=1,time.units="year") This command creates an S-plus object airline.d. Example 2.4 To read the AT&T common stock closing prices for the 52 weeks of 1979, use the command att.stock.d <- read.ts(file.name="/home/wqmeeker/stat451/data/att_stock.dat", title="1979 Weekly Closing Price of ATT Common Stock", series.units="dollars", frequency=1, start.year=1, start.month=1,time.units="week") This command creates an S-plus object att.stock.d. Note that these data have no natural seasonality. Thus, the inputs for frequency, start.year, start.month, arejustgiventhe value 1. 3 ARMA Models and Properties A time series model provides a convenient, hopefully simple, mathematical/probabilistic description of a process of interest. In this section we will describe the class of models known as AutoRegressive Moving Average or ARMA models. This class of models is particularly useful for describing and short-term forecasting of stationary time series processes. The ARMA class of models also provides a useful starting point for developing models for describing and short-term forecasting of some nonstationary time series processes. 9

10 3.1 ARMA models The (nonseasonal) ARMA(p, q) model can be written as φ p (B)Z t = θ 0 + θ q (B)a t (1) where B is the backshift operator giving BZ t = Z t 1, θ 0 is a constant term. φ p (B) = (1 φ 1 B φ 2 B 2 φ p B p ) is the pth-order nonseasonal autoregressive (AR) operator, and θ q (B) = (1 θ 1 B θ 2 B 2 θ q B q ) is the qth-order moving average (MA) operator. The variable a t in equation (1) is the random shock term (also sometimes called the innovation term), and is assumed to be independent over time and normally distributed with mean 0 and variance σ 2 a. The ARMA model can be written in the unscrambled form as Z t = θ 0 + φ 1 Z t 1 + φ 2 Z t φ p Z t p θ 1 a t 1 θ 2 a t 2 θ q a t q + a t. (2) 3.2 Stationarity and Invertibility If p = 0, the model is a pure MA model and Z t is always stationary. When an ARMA model has p>0arterms,z t is stationary if and only if all of the roots of φ p (B) all lie outside of the unit circle. If q =0theARMAmodelis purear andz t is always invertible. When an ARMA model has q>0materms,z t is invertible if and only if all of the roots of θ q (B) all lie outside of the unit circle. The S-PlusTS function arma.roots can be used to compute and display the roots of an AR or an MA polynomial. Example 3.1 To find the roots of the polynomial (1 1.6B.4B 2 ) use the command > arma.roots(c(1.6,.4)) re im dist > The roots are displayed graphically in Figure 5, showing that this polynomial has two real roots, one of inside and one outside of the unit circle. Thus if this were an MA (AR) polynomial, the model would be nonivertible (nonstationary). Example 3.2 To find the roots of the polynomial (1.5B +.1B 2 ) use the command 10

11 Polynomial Function versus B Coefficients= 1.6, 0.4 Roots and the Unit Circle Function Imaginary Part B Real Part Figure 5: Plot of polynomial (1 1.6B.4B 2 ) corresponding roots > arma.roots(c(.5,-.1)) re im dist > The roots are displayed graphically in Figure 6, showing that this polynomial has two imaginary roots, both of which are outside of the unit circle. Thus if this were an MA (AR) polynomial, the model would be invertible (stationary). Example 3.3 To find the roots of the polynomial (1.5B +.9B 2.1B 3.5B 4 )usethe command > arma.roots(c(.5,-.9,.1,.5)) re im dist > The roots are displayed graphically in Figure 7, showing that this polynomial has two real roots and two imaginary roots. The imaginary roots are inside the unit circle. Thus if this were an MA (AR) polynomial, the model would be nonivertible (nonstationary). 11

12 Coefficients= 0.5, -0.1 Polynomial Function versus B Roots and the Unit Circle Function Imaginary Part B Real Part Figure 6: Plot of polynomial (1.5B +.1B 2 ) corresponding roots Polynomial Function versus B Coefficients= 0.5, -0.9, 0.1, 0.5 Roots and the Unit Circle Function Imaginary Part B Real Part Figure 7: Plot of polynomial (1.5B +.9B 2.1B 3.5B 4 ) corresponding roots 12

13 3.3 Model mean The mean of a stationary AR(p) modelisderivedas µ Z E(Z t ) = E(θ 0 + φ 1 Z t φ p Z t p + a t ) = E(θ 0 ) + φ 1 E(Z t 1 ) + + φ p E(Z t p ) + E(a t ) = θ 0 + (φ φ p )E(Z t ) = θ 0 1 φ 1 φ p Because E(θ k a t k ) = 0 for any k, it is easy to show that this same expression also gives the mean of a stationary ARMA(p, q) model. 3.4 Model variance There is no simple general expression for the variance of a stationary ARMA(p, q) model. There are, however, simple formulas for the variance of the AR(p) model and the MA(p) model. The variance of the AR(p) modelis γ 0 σ 2 z Var(Z t) E(Ż2 )= σ 2 a φ 1 ρ 1 φ p ρ p where Ż = Z t E(Zt)andρ 1,...,ρ p are autocorrelations (see Section 3.5). The variance of the MA(q) modelis γ 0 σ 2 z Var(Z t ) E(Ż2 )=(1+θ θ 2 q)σ 2 a 3.5 Model autocorrelation function The model-based (or true ) autocorrelations ρ k = γ k = Cov(Z t,z t+k ) γ 0 Var(Z t ) = E(ŻtŻt+k), k =1, 2,... Var(Z t ) are the theoretical correlations between observations separated by k time periods. This autocorrelation function, where the correlation between observations separated by k time periods is a constant, is defined only for stationary time series. The true autocorrelation function depends on the underlying model and the parameters of the model. The covariances and variances needed to compute the ACF can be derived by standard expectation operations. The formulas are simple for pure AR and pure MA models. The formulas become more complicated for mixed ARMA models. Box and Jenkins (1969) or Wei (1989), for example, give details. 13

14 Example 3.4 Autocovariance and Autocorrelation Functions for the MA(2) Model The autocovariance function for an MA(2) model can be obtained from γ 1 E(ŻtŻt+1) = E[( θ 1 a t 1 θ 2 a t 2 + a t )( θ 1 a t θ 2 a t 1 + a t+1 )] = E[(θ 1 θ 2 a 2 t 1 θ 1 a 2 t )] Then the autocorrelation function is = θ 1 θ 2 E(a 2 t 1) θ 1 E(a 2 t )=(θ 1 θ 2 θ 1 )σ 2 a ρ 1 = γ 1 = θ 1θ 2 θ 1 γ 0 1+θ θ2 2 Using similar operations, it is easy to show that ρ 2 = γ 2 γ 0 = θ 2 1+θ θ2 2 and that, in general, for MA(2), ρ k = γ k /γ 0 =0fork>2. The calculations are similar for an MA(q) model with other values of q. Example 3.5 Autocovariance and Autocorrelation Functions for the AR(2) Model The autocovariance function for an AR(2) model can be obtained from γ 1 E(ŻtŻt+1) = E[Żt(φ 1 Ż t + φ 2 Ż t 1 + a t+1 )] = φ 1 E(Ż2 t ) + φ 2E(ŻtŻt 1) + E(Żta t+1 ) = φ 1 γ 0 + φ 2 γ γ 2 E(ŻtŻt+2) = E[Żt(φ 1 Ż t+1 + φ 2 Ż t + a t+2 )] = φ 1 E(ŻtŻt+1) + φ 2 E(Ż2 t ) + E(Żta t+2 ) = φ 1 γ 1 + φ 2 γ Then the autocorrelation function is ρ k = γ k /γ 0 and ρ 0 =1,givestheAR(2)ACF ρ 1 = φ 1 + φ 2 ρ 1 ρ 2 = φ 1 ρ 1 + φ 2 ρ 3 = φ 1 ρ 2 + φ 2 ρ 1... ρ k = φ 1 ρ k 1 + φ 2 ρ k 2 The calculations are similar for an AR(p) model with other values of p. In general, the first two equations are commonly known the Yule-Walker equations. 3.6 Model partial autocorrelation function The model PACF (or true PACF ) gives the model-based correlation between observations (Z t,z t+k ) separated by k time periods ((k = 1, 2, 3,...)), accounting for the effects of 14

15 intervening observations (Z t+1,z t+2,...,z t+k 1 ). The PACF function can be computed as a function of the model (or true) ACF function. The formula for calculating the true PACF is: φ 11 = ρ 1 k 1 ρ k φ k 1, j ρ k j φ kk = j=1, k =2, 3,... (3) k 1 1 φ k 1, j ρ j j=1 where φ kj = φ k 1,j φ kk φ k 1,k j, (k =3, 4,...; j =1, 2,...,k 1). This formula for computing the true PACF is based on the solution of the Yule-Walker equations. 3.7 Computing and graphing the model ( true ) ACF and PACF functions Plots (and tabular values) of the true ACF and PACF functions can be obtained using the following S-plus commands > plot.true.acfpacf(model=list(ar=.95)) > plot.true.acfpacf(model=list(ar=c(.78,.2))) > plot.true.acfpacf(model=list(ma=c(1,-.95))) > plot.true.acfpacf(model=list(ar=.95,ma=-.95)) The output from these commands is shown in Figures 8, 9, 10, and 11, respectively. 3.8 General behavior of ACF and PACF functions The general behavior of the true ACF and PACF functions is easy to describe. For AR(p) models, The ACF function will die down (sometimes in an oscillating manner). When close to a stationarity boundary, the rate at which the ACF decays may be very slow [e.g., and AR(1) model with φ =.999]. For this reason, if the ACF dies down too slowly, it may be an indication that the process generating the data is nonstationary. The PACF function will cut off (i.e. be equal to 0) after lag p. For MA(q) models, The ACF function will cut off (i.e. be equal to 0) after lag q. 15

16 True ACF ar: 0.95 True ACF Lag True PACF ar: 0.95 True PACF Lag Figure 8: True ACF and PACF for AR(1) model with φ 1 =.95 True ACF ar: 0.78, 0.2 True ACF Lag True PACF ar: 0.78, 0.2 True PACF Lag Figure 9: True ACF and PACF for AR(2) model with φ 1 =.78,φ 2 =.2 16

17 True ACF ma: 1, True ACF Lag True PACF ma: 1, True PACF Lag Figure 10: True ACF and PACF for MA(2) model with θ 1 =1., θ 2 =.95 True ACF ma: ar: 0.95 True ACF Lag True PACF ma: ar: 0.95 True PACF Lag Figure 11: True ACF and PACF for ARMA(1, 1) model with φ 1 =.95,θ 1 =.95 17

18 The PACF function will die down (sometimes in an oscillating manner). For ARMA(p, q) models, The ACF function will die down (sometimes in an oscillating manner) after lag max(0,q p). The PACF function will die down (sometimes in an oscillating manner)after lag max(0,p q). As described in Section 4, estimates of the the ACF and PACF, computed from data, can be compared with the expected patterns of the true ACF and PACF functions and used to help suggest appropriate models for the data. 4 Tentative Identification At the tentative identification stage we use sample autocorrelation function (ACF) and the sample partial autocorrelation function (PACF). The sample ACF and sample PACF can be thought of as estimates of similar theoretical (or true ) ACF and PACF functions that are characteristic of some underlying ARMA model. (Recall from Sections 3.5 and 3.6 that the true ACF and true PACF can be computed as a function of a specified model and its parameters.) At the beginning of the identification stage, the model is unknown so we tentatively select one or more ARMA models by looking at graphs of the sample ACF and PACF computed from the available data. Then we choose a tentative model whose associated true ACF and PACF look like the sample ACF and PACF calculated from the data. To choose a final model we proceed to the estimation and checking stages, returning to the identification stage if the tentative model proves to be inadequate. 4.1 Sample autocorrelation function The sample ACF is computed from a time-series realization Z 1,Z 2,...,Z n and gives the observed correlation between pairs of observations (Z t,z t+k ) separated by various time spans (k =1, 2, 3,...). Each estimated autocorrelation coefficient ρ k is an estimate of the corresponding parameter ρ k. The formula for calculating the sample ACF is: ρ k = n k (Z t Z)(Z t+k Z) t=1, k =1, 2,... n (Z t Z) 2 t=1 One can begin to make a judgment about what ARIMA model(s) might fit the data by examining the patterns in the estimated ACF. The iden command automatically plots the specified time series and provides plots of the sample ACF and PACF. 18

19 w Mean US Savings Rate for w= Percent of Disposable Income time Range-Mean Plot ACF Range ACF Partial ACF Lag PACF Lag Figure 12: Plot of savings rate data along with a range-mean plot and plots of sample ACF and PACF 4.2 Sample partial autocorrelation function ThesamplePACF ˆφ 11, ˆφ 22, gives the correlation between ordered pairs (Z t,z t+k )separated by various time spans (k =1, 2, 3,...) with the effects of intervening observations (Z t+1,z t+2,...,z t+k 1 ) removed. The sample PACF function can be computed as a function of the sample ACF. The formula for calculating the sample PACF is: ˆφ 11 = ρ 1 k 1 ρ k ˆφ k 1, j ρ k j ˆφ kk = j=1, k =2, 3,... (4) k 1 1 ˆφ k 1, j ρ j j=1 where ˆφ kj = ˆφ k 1,j ˆφ kk ˆφk 1,k j (k =3, 4,...; j =1, 2,...,k 1) This method of computing the sample PACF is based on the solution of a set of equations known as the Yule-Walker equations that give ρ 1,ρ 2,...,ρ k as a function of φ 1,φ 2,...,φ k. Each estimated partial autocorrelation coefficient ˆφ kk is an estimate of the corresponding model-based ( true ) PACF φ kk computed as shown in (3). Example 4.1 Figure 12 shows iden output for the savings rate data along with a rangemean plot (that will be explained later) and plots of sample ACF and PACF. The command used to generate this output was 19

20 Range-Mean Plot Range w Wolfer Sunspots w= Number of Spots time ACF ACF Partial ACF Lag PACF Mean Lag Figure 13: Plot of sunspot data along with a range-mean plot and plots of sample ACF and PACF > iden(savings.rate.d) The sample ACF and PACF plots show that the ACF dies down and that the PACF cuts off after one lag. This matches the pattern of an AR(1) model and suggests this model as a good starting point for modeling the savings rate data. 4.3 Understanding the sample autocorrelation function As explained in Section 4.1, the sample ACF function plot show the correlation between observations separated by k = 1, 2,... time periods. For another example, Figure 13 gives the iden output from the Wolfer sunspot time series. In order to better understand an ACF, or to investigate the reasons for particular spikes in a sample ACF, it is useful to obtain a visualization of the individual correlations in an ACF. Figure 14 was obtained by using the command > show.acf(spot.d) 5 Estimation Computer programs are generally needed to obtain estimates of the parameters of the ARMA model chosen at the identification stage. Estimation output can be used to compute quantities that can provide warning signals about the adequacy of our model. Also at this stage the results may also indicate how a model could be improved and this leads back to the identification stage. 20

21 Lag 1 Lag 2 Lag 3 Lag 4 timeseries Series lag Series lag Series lag Series lag timeseries series series series series Lag 5 Lag 6 Lag 7 Lag 8 Lag 9 Series lag Series lag Series lag Series lag Series lag series series series series series Lag 10 Lag 11 Lag 12 Lag 13 Series : timeseries Series lag Series lag Series lag Series lag ACF Lag series series series series Figure 14: Plot of the show.acf command showing graphically the correlation between sunspot observations separated by k = 1,2,...12 years The basic idea behind maximum likelihood (ML) estimation is to find, for a given set of data, and specified model, the combination of model parameters that will maximize the probability of the data. Combinations of parameters giving high probability are more plausible than those with low probability. The ML estimation criteria is the preferred method. Assuming a correct model the likelihood function from which ML estimates are derived reflects all useful information about the parameters contained in the data. Estimated coefficients are nearly always correlated with one another. Estimates of the parameter correlations provide a useful diagnostic. If estimates are highly correlated, the estimates are heavily dependent on each other and tend to be unstable (e.g., slight changes in data can cause large changes in estimates). If one or more of the correlations among parameters is close to 1, it may be an indication that the model contains too many parameters. 6 Diagnostic Checking At the diagnostic-checking stage we check to see if the tentative model is adequate for its purpose. A tentative model that fails one or more diagnostic tests is rejected. If the model is rejected we repeat the cycle of identification, estimation and diagnostic checking in an attempt to find a better model. The most useful diagnostic checks consist of plots of the residuals, plots of functions of the residuals and other simple statistics that describe the adequacy of the model. 21

22 6.1 Residual autocorrelation In an ARMA model, the random shocks a t are assumed to be statistically independent so at the diagnostic-checking stage we use the observed residuals â t to test hypotheses about the independence of the random shocks. In time series analysis, the observed residuals are defined as the difference between Z t and the one-step-ahead forecast for Z t (see Section 7). In order to check the assumption that the random shocks (a t ) are independent, we compute a residual ACF from the time series of the observed residuals â 1, â 2,... The formula for calculating the ACF of the residuals is: ρ k (â) = n k (â t ā)(â t+k ā) t=1, k =1, 2,... n (â t ā) 2 t=1 where ā isthesamplemeanofthea t values. Values of ρ k (â) that are importantly different from 0 (i.e., statistically significant) indicate a possible deviation from the independence assumption. To judge statistical significance we use Bartlett s approximate formula to estimate the standard errors of the residual autocorrelations. The formula is: S ρk (â) = [1 + 2 k 1 j=1 ρ j (â) 2 ]/n Having found the estimated standard errors of ρ k (â), we can test, approximately, the null hypothesis H 0 : ρ k (a)=0 for each residual autocorrelation coefficient. To do this, we use a standard t-like ratio t = ρ k(â) 0. S ρk (â) In large samples, if the true ρ k (a) = 0, then this t-like ratio will follow, approximately, a standard normal distribution. Thus with a large realization, if H 0 is true, there is only about a 5% chance of having t outside the range ±2, and values outside of this range will indicate non-zero autocorrelation. The estimated standard errors are sometimes seriously overstated when applying Bartlett s formula to residual autocorrelations. This is especially possible at the very short lags (lags 1,2 and perhaps lag 3). Therefore we must be very careful in using the t-like ratio especially those at the short lags. Pankratz (1983) suggests using warning limits of ±1.50 to indicate the possibility of a significant spike in the residual ACF. Interpretation of sample ACF s is complicated because we are generally interpreting, simultaneously, a large number of ρ k (â) values. As with the interpretation of ACF and PACF functions of data during the identification stage, the t-like ratios should be used only as guidelines for making decisions during the process of model building. 1/2. 22

23 6.2 Ljung-Box test Another way to assess the residual ACF is to test the residual autocorrelations as a set rather than individually. The Ljung-Box approximate chi-squared statistic provides such atest. Fork autocorrelations we can assess the reasonableness of the following joint null hypothesis; H 0 : ρ 1 (a) =ρ 2 (a) =...= ρ K (a) =0 with the test statistic K Q = n(n +2) (n k) 1 ρ 2 k (â) k=1 where n is the number of observations used to estimate the model. The statistic Q approximately follows a chi-squared distribution with (k p) degrees of freedom, where p is the number of parameters estimated in the ARIMA model. If this statistic is larger than χ 2 (1 α;k p),the1 α quantile of the chi-square distribution with k p degrees of freedom, there is strong evidence that the model is inadequate. 6.3 Other Diagnostic Checks The following are other useful diagnostic checking methods. The residuals from a fitted model constitute a time-series that can be plotted just as the original realization is plotted. A plot of the residuals versus time is sometimes helpful in detecting problems with the fitted model and gives a clear indication of outlying observations. It is also easier to see a changing variance in the plot of the residuals then in a plot of the original data. The residual plot can also be helpful in detecting data errors or unusual events that impact a time series. As in regression modeling, a plot of residuals versus fitted values can be useful for identifying departures from the assumed model. A normal probability plot of the residuals can be useful for detecting departures from the assumption that residuals are normally distributed (the assumption of normally distributed residuals is important when using normal distribution based prediction intervals. Adding another coefficient to a model may result in useful improvement. This diagnostic check is known as overfitting. Generally, one should have a reason for expanding a model in a certain direction. Otherwise, overfitting is arbitrary and tends to violate the principle of parsimony. Sometimes a process will change with time, causing the coefficients (e.g., φ 1 and θ 1 ) in the assumed model change in value. If this happens, forecasts based on a model fitted to the entire data set are less accurate than they could be. One way to check a model for this problem is to fit the chosen model to subsets of the available data (e.g., divide the realization into two parts) to see if the coefficients change importantly. 23

24 US Savings Rate for Model: Component 1 :: ar: 1 on w= Percent of Disposable Income Residuals vs. Time Residuals Time Residuals vs. Fitted Values Residual ACF Residuals ACF Fitted Values Lag Figure 15: First part of the esti output for the AR(1) model and the savings rate data. The forecasts computed from a model can, themselves, be useful as a model-checking diagnostic. Forecasts that seem unreasonable, relative to past experience and expert judgment, should suggest doubt about the adequacy of the assumed model. Example 6.1 Continuing with Example 4.1, for the savings rate data, the command > esti(savings.rate.d,model=model.pdq(p=1)) does estimation, provides output for diagnostic checking, and provides a plot of the fitted data and forecasts, all using the AR(1) model suggested by Figure 12. The graphical output from this command is shown in Figures 15 and 16. Abbreviated tabular output from this command is ARIMA estimation results: Series: y.trans Model: Component 1 :: ar: 1 AICc: (Log Likelihood): S: Parameter Estimation Results MLE se t.ratio 95% lower 95% upper ar(1) Constant term: Standard error:

25 US Savings Rate for Model: Component 1 :: ar: 1 on w= Percent of Disposable Income Actual Values * * * Fitted Values * * * Future Values * * 95 % Prediction Interval * * Percent of Disposable Income Index Normal Probability Plot Normal Scores Residuals Figure 16: Second part of the esti output for the AR(1) model and the savings rate data. t-ratio: Ljung-Box Statistics dof Ljung-Box p-value ACF Lag ACF se t-ratio Forecasts Lower Forecast Upper 25

27 computed Ẑt(l) for a future value of Z). Box and Jenkins (1969) show that forecast is optimal in the sense that it minimizes the mean squared error of the forecasts. A forecast error for predicting Z t with lead time l (i.e., forecasting ahead l time periods) is denoted by e t (l) and defined as the difference between an observed Z t and its forecast counterpart Ẑt(l): e t (l) =Z t Ẑt(l). This forecast error has variance Var[e t (l)] = σ 2 a (1+ψ ψ2 l 1 ) ( 7) where the ψ i coefficients are the coefficients in the random shock (infinite MA) form of the ARIMA model. If the random shocks (i.e., the a t values) are normally distributed and if we have an appropriate ARIMA model, then our forecasts and the associated forecast errors are approximately normally distributed. Then an approximate 95% prediction interval around any forecast will be Ẑ t (l) ± 1.96S et(l) where S et(l) = Var[e t (l)]. Both Ẑt(l) ands et(l) depend on the unknown model parameters. With reasonably large samples, however, adequate approximate prediction intervals can be computed by substituting estimates computed from model-fitting into (5) and (7). Example 7.1 Figure 16 shows forecasts for the savings rate data. The forecasts start low, but increase to an asymptote, equal to the estimated mean of the time series. The set of prediction intervals gets wider, with the width also reaching a limit (approximately 1.96 times the estimate of σ Z ). 8 Modeling Nonstationary Time Series 8.1 Variance stationarity and transformations Some time series data exhibit a degree of variability that changes through time (e.g., Figure 2. In some cases, especially when variability increases with level, such series can be transformed to stabilize the variance before being modeled with the Univariate Box-Jenkins- ARIMA method. A common transformation involves taking the natural logarithms of the original series. This is appropriate if the variance of the original series is approximately proportional to the mean. More generally, one can use the family of Box-Cox transformations, i.e., { (Z t +m) γ 1 γ γ 0 Z t = log(zt + m) γ =0 (8) where Zt is the original, untransformed time series and γ is primary transformation parameter. Sometimes the Box-Cox power transformation is presented as Z t =(Zt + m)γ. 27

28 The more complicated form in (8) has the advantage of being monotone increasing in Zt for any γ and (Zt + m) γ 1 lim =log(zt γ 0 γ + m). The quantity m is typically chosen to be 0 but can be used to shift a time series (usually upward) before transforming. This is especially useful when there are some values of Zt that are negative, 0, or even close to 0. This is because the log of a nonpositive number or a noninteger power of a negative number is not defined. Moreover, transformation of numbers close to 0 can cause undesired shifts in the data pattern. Shifting the entire series upward by adding a constant m can have the effect of equalizing the effect of a transformation across levels. 8.2 Using a range-mean plot to help choose a transformation We use a range-mean plot to help detect nonstationary variance. A range-mean plot is constructed by dividing the time series into logical subgroups (e.g. years for 12 monthly observations per year) and computing the mean and range in each group. The ranges are plotted against the means to see if the ranges tend to increase with the means. If the variability in a time series increases with level (as in percent change), the range-mean plot will show a strong positive relationship between the sample means and the sample variances for each period in the time series. If the relationship is strong enough, it may be an indication of the need for some kind of transformation. Example 8.1 Returning to savings rate data (see Example 4.1), the range-mean plot in Figure 12 shows that, other than the outlying value, there is no strong relationship between the mean and ranges. Thus there is no evidence of need for a transformation for these data. Example 8.2 Figure 17 shows iden output of monthly time series data giving the number of international airline passengers between 1949 and The command used to make this figure is > iden(airline.d) The range and mean of the 12 observations within each year were computed and plotted. This plot shows clearly the strong relationship between the ranges and the means. Figure 18 shows iden output for the logarithm of the number of passengers. The command used to make this figure is > iden(airline.d,gamma=0) This figure shows that the transformation has broken the strong correlation and made the amount of variability more stable over the realization. When interpreting the range-mean plot and deciding on an appropriate transformation, we have to remember that doing a transformation affects many parts of a time series model, for example, 28

29 w w Mean International Airline Passengers w= Thousands of Passengers time Range-Mean Plot ACF Range ACF Partial ACF Lag PACF Lag Figure 17: Plot of the airline data along with a range-mean plot and plots of sample ACF and PACF International Airline Passengers w= log(thousands of Passengers) time Range-Mean Plot ACF Range ACF Partial ACF Lag PACF Mean Lag Figure 18: Plot of the logarithms of the airline data along with a range-mean plot and plots of sample ACF and PACF 29

30 The relationship between level (e.g., mean) and spread (e.g., standard deviation) of data about the fitted model, The shape of any trend curve, and The shape of the distribution of residuals. We must be careful that a transformation to fix one problem will not lead to other problems. The range-mean plot only looks at the relationship between variability and level. For many time series it is not necessary or even desirable to transform so that the correlation between ranges and means is zero. Generally it is good practice to compare final results of an analysis by trying different transformations. 8.3 Mean stationarity and differencing ARMA models are most useful for predicting stationary time-series. These models can, however, be generalized to ARIMA models that have integrated random walk type behavior. Thus ARMA models can be generalized to ARIMA models that are useful for describing certain kinds (but not all kinds) of nonstationary behavior. In particular, an integrated ARIMA model can be changed to a stationary ARMA model using a differencing operation. Then we fit an ARMA model to the differenced data. Differencing involves calculating successive changes in the values of a data series. 8.4 Regular differencing To difference a data series, we define a new variable (W t ) which is the change in Z t from one time period to the next; i.e., W t =(1 B)Z t = Z t Z t 1 t =2, 3,...,n. (9) This working series W t is called the first difference of Z t. We can also look at differencing from the other side. In particular, rewriting (9) and using successive resubstitution (i.e., using W t 1 = Z t 1 Z t 2 )gives Z t = Z t 1 + W t = Z t 2 + W t 1 + W t = Z t 3 + W t 2 + W t 1 + W t = Z t 4 + W t 3 + W t 2 + W t 1 + W t and so on. This shows why we would say that a model with a (1 B) differencing term is integrated. If the first differences do not have a constant mean, we might try a new W t, which will be the second differences of Z t, i.e., W t =(Z t Z t 1 ) (Z t 1 Z t 2 )=Z t 2Z t 1 + Z t 2, t =3, 4,...,n. 30

31 w Mean 1979 Weekly Closing Price of ATT Common Stock w= Dollars time Range-Mean Plot ACF Range ACF Partial ACF Lag PACF Lag Figure 19: Output from function iden for the weekly closing prices for 1979 AT&T common stock Using the back shift operator as shorthand, (1 B) is the differencing operator since (1 B)Z t = Z t Z t 1. Then, in general, W t =(1 B) d Z t is a dth order regular difference. That is, d denotes the number of nonseasonal differences. For most practical applications, d = 0 or 1. Sometimes d = 2 is used but values of d>2 are rarely useful. For time series that have integrated or random-walk-type behavior, first differencing is usually sufficient to produce a time series with a stationary mean; occasionally, however, second differencing is also used. Differencing more than twice virtually never needed. We must be very careful not to difference a series more than needed to achieve stationarity. Unnecessary differencing creates artificial patterns in a data series and reduces forecast accuracy. Example 8.3 Figure 19 shows output from function iden for the weekly closing prices for 1979 AT&T common stock. Both the time series plot and the range-mean plot strongly suggests that the mean of the time series is changing with time. Example 8.4 Figure 20 shows output from function iden for the changes (or first differences) in the weekly closing prices for 1979 AT&T common stock. These plots indicate that the changes in weekly closing price have a distribution that could be modeled with a constant-mean ARMA model. 31

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