Deriving the Dependence Structure of Portfolio Credit Derivatives Using Evolutionary Algorithms

  • Svenja Hager
  • Rainer Schöbel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3994)


The correct modeling of default dependence is essential for the valuation of portfolio credit derivatives. However, for the pricing of synthetic CDOs a one-factor Gaussian copula model with constant and equal pairwise correlations for all assets in the reference portfolio has become the standard market model. If this model were a reflection of market opinion there wouldn’t be the implied correlation smile that is observed in the market. The purpose of this paper is to derive a correlation structure from observed CDO tranche spreads. The correlation structure is chosen such that all tranche spreads of the traded CDO can be reproduced. This implied correlation structure can then be used to price off-market tranches with the same underlying as the traded CDO. Using this approach we can significantly reduce the risk to misprice off-market derivatives. Due to the complexity of the optimization problem we apply Evolutionary Algorithms.


Default Time Global Mutation Asset Correlation Default Payment Senior Tranche 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Svenja Hager
    • 1
  • Rainer Schöbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Corporate Finance, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationEberhard-Karls-University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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