Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Ali N. Akansu

Second Advisor

Ali Abdi

Third Advisor

Richard A. Haddad

Fourth Advisor

Marvin K. Nakayama

Fifth Advisor

Cheickna Sylla


Financial signal processing (FSP) is one of the emerging areas in the field of signal processing. It is comprised of mathematical finance and signal processing. Signal processing engineers consider speech, image, video, and price of a stock as signals of interest for the given application. The information that they will infer from raw data is different for each application. Financial engineers develop new solutions for financial problems using their knowledge base in signal processing. The goal of financial engineers is to process the harvested financial signal to get meaningful information for the purpose.

Designing investment portfolios have always been at the center of finance. An investment portfolio is comprised of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, futures, options, and others. It is designed based on risk limits and return expectations of investors and managed by portfolio managers. Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) offers a mathematical method for portfolio optimization. It defines the risk as the standard deviation of the portfolio return and provides closed-form solution for the risk optimization problem where asset allocations are derived from. The risk and the return of an investment are the two inseparable performance metrics. Therefore, risk normalized return, called Sharpe ratio, is the most widely used performance metric for financial investments.

Subspace methods have been one of the pillars of functional analysis and signal processing. They are used for portfolio design, regression analysis and noise filtering in finance applications. Each subspace has its unique characteristics that may serve requirements of a specific application. For still image and video compression applications, Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) has been successfully employed in transform coding where Karhunen-Loeve Transform (KLT) is the optimum block transform.

In this dissertation, a signal processing framework to design investment portfolios is proposed. Portfolio theory and subspace methods are investigated and jointly treated. First, KLT, also known as eigenanalysis or principal component analysis (PCA) of empirical correlation matrix for a random vector process that statistically represents asset returns in a basket of instruments, is investigated. Auto-regressive, order one, AR(1) discrete process is employed to approximate such an empirical correlation matrix. Eigenvector and eigenvalue kernels of AR(1) process are utilized for closed-form expressions of Sharpe ratios and market exposures of the resulting eigenportfolios. Their performances are evaluated and compared for various statistical scenarios. Then, a novel methodology to design subband/filterbank portfolios for a given empirical correlation matrix by using the theory of optimal filter banks is proposed. It is a natural extension of the celebrated eigenportfolios. Closed-form expressions for Sharpe ratios and market exposures of subband/filterbank portfolios are derived and compared with eigenportfolios.

A simple and powerful new method using the rate-distortion theory to sparse eigen-subspaces, called Sparse KLT (SKLT), is developed. The method utilizes varying size mid-tread (zero-zone) pdf-optimized (Lloyd-Max) quantizers created for each eigenvector (or for the entire eigenmatrix) of a given eigen-subspace to achieve the desired cardinality reduction. The sparsity performance comparisons demonstrate the superiority of the proposed SKLT method over the popular sparse representation algorithms reported in the literature.