Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Lubomir Stanchev

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Challenges of financial forecasting, such as a dearth of independent samples and non- stationary underlying process, limit the relevance of conventional machine learning towards financial forecasting. Meta-learning approaches alleviate some of these is- sues by allowing the model to generalize across unrelated or loosely related tasks with few observations per task. The neural process family achieves this by con- ditioning forecasts based on a supplied context set at test time. Despite promise, meta-learning approaches remain underutilized in finance. To our knowledge, ours is the first application of neural processes to realized volatility (RV) forecasting and financial forecasting in general.

We propose a hybrid temporal convolutional network attentive neural process (ANP- TCN) for the purpose of financial forecasting. The ANP-TCN combines a conven- tional and performant financial time series embedding model (TCN) with an ANP objective. We found ANP-TCN variant models outperformed the base TCN for equity index realized volatility forecasting. In addition, when stack-ensembled with a tree- based model to forecast a trading signal, the ANP-TCN outperformed the baseline buy-and-hold strategy and base TCN model in out-of-sample performance. Across four liquid US equity indices (incl. S&P 500) tested over ∼15 years, the best long-short models (reported by median trajectory) resulted in the following out-of-sample (∼3 years) performance ranges: directional accuracy of 58.65% to 62.26%, compound an- nual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2176 to 0.4534, and annualized Sharpe ratio of 2.1564 to 3.3375. All project code can be found at:

patel2023empirical_defense_slides_full.pdf (16734 kB)
Thesis Defense Slides Full Edition