Modeling Stock Order Flows and Learning Market-Making from Data

Unknown author (2002-06-01)

Stock markets employ specialized traders, market-makers, designed to provide liquidity and volume to the market by constantly supplying both supply and demand. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel method for modeling the market as a dynamic system and a reinforcement learning algorithm that learns profitable market-making strategies when run on this model. The sequence of buys and sells for a particular stock, the order flow, we model as an Input-Output Hidden Markov Model fit to historical data. When combined with the dynamics of the order book, this creates a highly non-linear and difficult dynamic system. Our reinforcement learning algorithm, based on likelihood ratios, is run on this partially-observable environment. We demonstrate learning results for two separate real stocks.