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Adaptivity: Measures of Dominant Cycles and Price Trend [Loxx]

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Adaptivity: Measures of Dominant Cycles and Price Trend is an indicator that outputs adaptive lengths using various methods for dominant cycle and price trend timeframe adaptivity. While the information output from this indicator might be useful for the average trader in one off circumstances, this indicator is really meant for those need a quick comparison of dynamic length outputs who wish to fine turn algorithms and/or create adaptive indicators.

This indicator compares adaptive output lengths of all publicly known adaptive measures. Additional adaptive measures will be added as they are discovered and made public.

The first released of this indicator includes 6 measures. An additional three measures will be added with updates. Please check back regularly for new measures.

Ehers:
  • Autocorrelation Periodogram
  • Band-pass
  • Instantaneous Cycle
  • Hilbert Transformer
  • Dual Differentiator
  • Phase Accumulation (future release)
  • Homodyne (future release)

Jurik:

Adam White:
  • Veritical Horizontal Filter (VHF) (future release)

What is an adaptive cycle, and what is Ehlers Autocorrelation Periodogram Algorithm?
From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 135:
"Adaptive filters can have several different meanings. For example, Perry Kaufman's adaptive moving average ( KAMA ) and Tushar Chande's variable index dynamic average ( VIDYA ) adapt to changes in volatility . By definition, these filters are reactive to price changes, and therefore they close the barn door after the horse is gone.The adaptive filters discussed in this chapter are the familiar Stochastic , relative strength index ( RSI ), commodity channel index ( CCI ), and band-pass filter.The key parameter in each case is the look-back period used to calculate the indicator. This look-back period is commonly a fixed value. However, since the measured cycle period is changing, it makes sense to adapt these indicators to the measured cycle period. When tradable market cycles are observed, they tend to persist for a short while.Therefore, by tuning the indicators to the measure cycle period they are optimized for current conditions and can even have predictive characteristics.

The dominant cycle period is measured using the Autocorrelation Periodogram Algorithm. That dominant cycle dynamically sets the look-back period for the indicators. I employ my own streamlined computation for the indicators that provide smoother and easier to interpret outputs than traditional methods. Further, the indicator codes have been modified to remove the effects of spectral dilation.This basically creates a whole new set of indicators for your trading arsenal."

What is this Hilbert Transformer?
An analytic signal allows for time-variable parameters and is a generalization of the phasor concept, which is restricted to time-invariant amplitude, phase, and frequency. The analytic representation of a real-valued function or signal facilitates many mathematical manipulations of the signal. For example, computing the phase of a signal or the power in the wave is much simpler using analytic signals.

The Hilbert transformer is the technique to create an analytic signal from a real one. The conventional Hilbert transformer is theoretically an infinite-length FIR filter. Even when the filter length is truncated to a useful but finite length, the induced lag is far too large to make the transformer useful for trading.

From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, pages 186-187:
"I want to emphasize that the only reason for including this section is for completeness. Unless you are interested in research, I suggest you skip this section entirely. To further emphasize my point, do not use the code for trading. A vastly superior approach to compute the dominant cycle in the price data is the autocorrelation periodogram. The code is included because the reader may be able to capitalize on the algorithms in a way that I do not see. All the algorithms encapsulated in the code operate reasonably well on theoretical waveforms that have no noise component. My conjecture at this time is that the sample-to-sample noise simply swamps the computation of the rate change of phase, and therefore the resulting calculations to find the dominant cycle are basically worthless.The imaginary component of the Hilbert transformer cannot be smoothed as was done in the Hilbert transformer indicator because the smoothing destroys the orthogonality of the imaginary component."

What is the Dual Differentiator, a subset of Hilbert Transformer?
From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 187:
"The first algorithm to compute the dominant cycle is called the dual differentiator. In this case, the phase angle is computed from the analytic signal as the arctangent of the ratio of the imaginary component to the real component. Further, the angular frequency is defined as the rate change of phase. We can use these facts to derive the cycle period."

What is the Phase Accumulation, a subset of Hilbert Transformer?
From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 189:
"The next algorithm to compute the dominant cycle is the phase accumulation method. The phase accumulation method of computing the dominant cycle is perhaps the easiest to comprehend. In this technique, we measure the phase at each sample by taking the arctangent of the ratio of the quadrature component to the in-phase component. A delta phase is generated by taking the difference of the phase between successive samples. At each sample we can then look backwards, adding up the delta phases.When the sum of the delta phases reaches 360 degrees, we must have passed through one full cycle, on average.The process is repeated for each new sample.

The phase accumulation method of cycle measurement always uses one full cycle's worth of historical data.This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.The advantage is the lag in obtaining the answer scales directly with the cycle period.That is, the measurement of a short cycle period has less lag than the measurement of a longer cycle period. However, the number of samples used in making the measurement means the averaging period is variable with cycle period. longer averaging reduces the noise level compared to the signal.Therefore, shorter cycle periods necessarily have a higher out- put signal-to-noise ratio."

What is the Homodyne, a subset of Hilbert Transformer?
From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 192:
"The third algorithm for computing the dominant cycle is the homodyne approach. Homodyne means the signal is multiplied by itself. More precisely, we want to multiply the signal of the current bar with the complex value of the signal one bar ago. The complex conjugate is, by definition, a complex number whose sign of the imaginary component has been reversed."

What is the Instantaneous Cycle?
The Instantaneous Cycle Period Measurement was authored by John Ehlers ; it is built upon his Hilbert Transform Indicator.

From his Ehlers' book Cybernetic Analysis for Stocks and Futures: Cutting-Edge DSP Technology to Improve Your Trading by John F. Ehlers , 2004, page 107:
"It is obvious that cycles exist in the market. They can be found on any chart by the most casual observer. What is not so clear is how to identify those cycles in real time and how to take advantage of their existence. When Welles Wilder first introduced the relative strength index ( rsi ), I was curious as to why he selected 14 bars as the basis of his calculations. I reasoned that if i knew the correct market conditions, then i could make indicators such as the rsi adaptive to those conditions. Cycles were the answer. I knew cycles could be measured. Once i had the cyclic measurement, a host of automatically adaptive indicators could follow.

Measurement of market cycles is not easy. The signal-to-noise ratio is often very low, making measurement difficult even using a good measurement technique. Additionally, the measurements theoretically involve simultaneously solving a triple infinity of parameter values. The parameters required for the general solutions were frequency, amplitude, and phase. Some standard engineering tools, like fast fourier transforms (ffs), are simply not appropriate for measuring market cycles because ffts cannot simultaneously meet the stationarity constraints and produce results with reasonable resolution. Therefore i introduced maximum entropy spectral analysis (mesa) for the measurement of market cycles. This approach, originally developed to interpret seismographic information for oil exploration, produces high-resolution outputs with an exceptionally short amount of information. A short data length improves the probability of having nearly stationary data. Stationary data means that frequency and amplitude are constant over the length of the data. I noticed over the years that the cycles were ephemeral. Their periods would be continuously increasing and decreasing. Their amplitudes also were changing, giving variable signal-to-noise ratio conditions. Although all this is going on with the cyclic components, the enduring characteristic is that generally only one tradable cycle at a time is present for the data set being used. I prefer the term dominant cycle to denote that one component. The assumption that there is only one cycle in the data collapses the difficulty of the measurement process dramatically."

What is the Band-pass Cycle?
From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 47:
"Perhaps the least appreciated and most underutilized filter in technical analysis is the band-pass filter. The band-pass filter simultaneously diminishes the amplitude at low frequencies, qualifying it as a detrender, and diminishes the amplitude at high frequencies, qualifying it as a data smoother. It passes only those frequency components from input to output in which the trader is interested. The filtering produced by a band-pass filter is superior because the rejection in the stop bands is related to its bandwidth. The degree of rejection of undesired frequency components is called selectivity. The band-stop filter is the dual of the band-pass filter. It rejects a band of frequency components as a notch at the output and passes all other frequency components virtually unattenuated. Since the bandwidth of the deep rejection in the notch is relatively narrow and since the spectrum of market cycles is relatively broad due to systemic noise, the band-stop filter has little application in trading."

From his Ehlers' book Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts by John F. Ehlers , 2013, page 59:
"The band-pass filter can be used as a relatively simple measurement of the dominant cycle. A cycle is complete when the waveform crosses zero two times from the last zero crossing. Therefore, each successive zero crossing of the indicator marks a half cycle period. We can establish the dominant cycle period as twice the spacing between successive zero crossings."

What is Composite Fractal Behavior ( CFB )?
All around you mechanisms adjust themselves to their environment. From simple thermostats that react to air temperature to computer chips in modern cars that respond to changes in engine temperature, r.p.m.'s, torque, and throttle position. It was only a matter of time before fast desktop computers applied the mathematics of self-adjustment to systems that trade the financial markets.

Unlike basic systems with fixed formulas, an adaptive system adjusts its own equations. For example, start with a basic channel breakout system that uses the highest closing price of the last N bars as a threshold for detecting breakouts on the up side. An adaptive and improved version of this system would adjust N according to market conditions, such as momentum, price volatility or acceleration.

Since many systems are based directly or indirectly on cycles, another useful measure of market condition is the periodic length of a price chart's dominant cycle, (DC), that cycle with the greatest influence on price action.

The utility of this new DC measure was noted by author Murray Ruggiero in the January '96 issue of Futures Magazine. In it. Mr. Ruggiero used it to adaptive adjust the value of N in a channel breakout system. He then simulated trading 15 years of D-Mark futures in order to compare its performance to a similar system that had a fixed optimal value of N. The adaptive version produced 20% more profit!

This DC index utilized the popular MESA algorithm (a formulation by John Ehlers adapted from Burg's maximum entropy algorithm, MEM). Unfortunately, the DC approach is problematic when the market has no real dominant cycle momentum, because the mathematics will produce a value whether or not one actually exists! Therefore, we developed a proprietary indicator that does not presuppose the presence of market cycles. It's called CFB (Composite Fractal Behavior) and it works well whether or not the market is cyclic.

CFB examines price action for a particular fractal pattern, categorizes them by size, and then outputs a composite fractal size index. This index is smooth, timely and accurate

Essentially, CFB reveals the length of the market's trending action time frame. Long trending activity produces a large CFB index and short choppy action produces a small index value. Investors have found many applications for CFB which involve scaling other existing technical indicators adaptively, on a bar-to-bar basis.

What is VHF Adaptive Cycle?
Vertical Horizontal Filter (VHF) was created by Adam White to identify trending and ranging markets. VHF measures the level of trend activity, similar to ADX DI. Vertical Horizontal Filter does not, itself, generate trading signals, but determines whether signals are taken from trend or momentum indicators. Using this trend information, one is then able to derive an average cycle length.



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