Neural Computing and Applications

, Volume 24, Issue 3–4, pp 663–673 | Cite as

On biologically inspired predictions of the global financial crisis

  • Peter Sarlin
Original Article


Early-warning models provide means for ex ante identification of elevated risks that may lead to a financial crisis. This paper taps into the early-warning literature by introducing biologically inspired models for predicting systemic financial crises. We create three models: a conventional statistical model, a back-propagation neural network (NN) and a neuro-genetic (NG) model that uses a genetic algorithm for choosing the optimal NN configuration. The models are calibrated and evaluated in terms of usefulness for policymakers that incorporates preferences between type I and type II errors. Generally, model evaluations show that biologically inspired models outperform the statistical model. NG models are, however, shown not only to provide largest usefulness for policymakers as an early-warning model, but also in form of decreased expertise and labor needed for, and uncertainty caused by, manual calibration of an NN. For better generalization of data-driven models, we also advocate adopting to the early-warning literature a training scheme that includes validation data.


Systemic financial crises Early-warning model Neural networks Genetic algorithms Neuro-genetic model 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Technologies, Turku Centre for Computer ScienceÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland

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