Computational Business is today's technological and strategic marketplace challenge.
Blockchain and Trust
A Distributed Ledger Technology
Blockchain exploded on the scene as part of Bitcoin, which introduced cryptocurrencies to the public consciousness in 2009. But the “blockchain” technology behind Bitcoin provides the foundations for a fully decentralized and immutable record of transactions, exchanges and even contracting relationships. Blockchain acts as a database that is fault-tolerant and under the auspices of no single authority.
shorish research understands the technological underpinnings of blockchain’s fault tolerance and consensus mechanisms and their implications for the trust relationships these mechanisms imply.
Recent blockchain implementations, such as Ethereum, provide not just a record of transactions but also a ‘world computer’, by virtue of the global execution of code associated with ‘smart contracts’. In addition, real-world external data can be brought into such a contract using ‘smart oracles’. Each of these technologies are new and largely untested, and carry concomitant risk.
Shorish Research can assess and quantify the risks associated with smart contracts and smart oracles, which is essential to enable these technologies for sensitive data such as health records, tangible asset transfers, or digital identities. In addition, we can provide abatement strategies to mitigate these risks and isolate or eliminate their consequences.
Although Bitcoin popularized blockchain as a fully open, or “permissionless” environment anyone can join, a blockchain’s participants can be vetted and granted the ability to participate, resulting in a “permissioned”, closed environment. In addition, a blockchain can provide multiple degrees of participation, such as via private communications channels (e.g. Hyperledger Fabric). Such extended blockchains are already in development by financial institutions (e.g. R3/Corda), technology leaders (e.g. the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance) and others.
These extensions to the original blockchain concept demonstrate that a role for the trust path of ‘validation, verification and audit’ remains crucial to ensure that “data provided is data delivered”, and that accidental or malicious errors in code or contract design do not create catastrophic outcomes. shorish research has expertise in both non-cooperative and cooperative game theory, which are the proper analytical tools to understand the challenges and solutions associated with trust on the blockchain.
Real World Finance
The Great Recession (2007-2009) showed how crucial modeling for the real world has become, to avoid yesterday’s mistakes and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Although off-the-shelf financial pricing and forecasting solutions exist, they often rely upon assumptions which are oversimplified for tractability. In the Great Recession this led to mispricing of complex derivatives and aggregated securities (such as Collateralized Debt Obligations, or CDOs), and an underestimation of the downside risk of extreme events.
Shorish Research can tailor a custom solution to the needs of the financial institution or planner, taking into consideration (for example) heavy-tailed returns distributions, non-normal distributions, and other real-world financial complications.
Before the explosion of crowdsourcing, Web 2.0 and social media, assessing the sentiment of consumers and investors relied upon surveys or polling data, which can be expensive.
By accessing the wealth of information available from social media, Shorish Research provides tools to properly filter and assess sentiment, trends and outlooks. The cost of generating sentiment estimates has never been lower.
Social Network Analysis
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
The advent of social networking has created previously impossible opportunities for the collection and analysis of enormous data sets. These data sets, when properly treated, have applications to network formation and analysis, group dynamics, and meme diffusion (e.g. the diffusion of product information and/or advertising, market news events, regional and global events, etc.).
Using data sources such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn–to name some of the most popular social networking platforms–shorish research can field products designed to extrapolate a multi-layer network according to a preselected (or endogenously generated) set of keywords, queries or other terminology.
Shorish Research conducts frontier research into the solution of social networking “big data” challenges, such as the combination of social networking information with hyperlink web information. Through its partnership with Uberlink Corporation, a first-class analysis of web networks can be provided using currently available Internet data.
Networks are complicated. But shorish research uses the latest methods and algorithms to extract meaning from complexity. Common factors, both quantitative and qualitative, can be filtered using machine learning (e.g. classifier systems, natural language processing, robust optimization, etc.) and used to assess the topology of the resulting network.
From this, we can trace the impact of a particular meme (such as a news item) through the network, indicating how individual and group sentiment can change over time. Understanding this impact can form a crucial input into the decision-making procedures for e.g. advertising and marketing.
In complex modeling environments, shorish reseach can create insights for use in financial asset pricing models, such as statistically robust proxies for the prediction of turning points, or for the refinement of suspected or explicitly recognized trends in quantitative financial data.
Provisioning ‘big data’ means retrieval reliability often competes with retrieval speed. Relying upon solid experience with relational databases such as mySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL, and NoSQL solutions like MongoDB, shorish research can provide the best balance of both.
No local server resources? You’re not alone. shorish research can create your application or website using a Cloud resource such as Amazon Web Services or Heroku, so you can stop worrying about hardware.
Outreach and Dissemination
- Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy (Australian National University)
- Intermediate Microeconomics (University of Aarhus; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
- Introductory Economics (Carnegie Mellon University)
- Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy (Australian National University)
- Information Economics and Contract Theory (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Applied Game Theory (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Introduction to Game Theory (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Mathematics for Economists (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Numerical Methods for Hard Optimization (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Introduction to Computer Programming (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Microeconomics (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- General Equilibrium Theory (Institute for Advanced Studies)
- Mathematical Macroeconomics (University of Aarhus)
- Dynamic Macroeconomics (University of Aarhus; Institute for Advanced Studies)
Dr Shorish’s work has appeared in such peer-reviewed journals as The Journal of Economic Theory, Economic Theory, Annals of Finance, Computational Economics, The Berkeley Electronic Journal of Theoretical Economics, and others.
With academic interests ranging over mathematical economics and finance, computer science, software programming and engineering, shorish research leverages academic research and teaching experience to provide innovative dissemination and outreach programs that help your organization understand computational business challenges and solutions.