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Bayesian tree models with applications to Insurance ratemaking


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Dr Georgios Aivaliotis and Dr Lanpeng Ji
Additional supervisors
Prof Charles Taylor
Research groups/institutes
Probability and Financial Mathematics, Statistics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We are looking for strong candidates to work on this exciting project described below!<br /> <br /> An insurance portfolio offers protection against a specified type of risk to a collection of policyholders with various risk profiles. Insurance companies differentiate premiums to reflect the heterogeneity of risks in their portfolio. Insurance companies use risk factors to group policyholders with similar risk profiles in tariff classes. Premiums are equal for policyholders within the same tariff class and should reflect the inherent riskiness of each class. The process of constructing these tariff classes is also known as risk classification. Pricing (or ratemaking) through detailed risk classification is the mechanism for insurance companies to compete and to reduce the cost of insurance contracts. A risk classification system should not only allow insurers to discriminate their products in a fair and equitable manner, but should also be constructed based on a sound statistical basis.<br /> <br /> Generalized linear models (GLMs) are nowadays standard industry practice for pricing risks. Many extensions of GLMs, such as, regularized GLMs and GAMs, GLMMs, have also been discussed in the literature. New actuarial methods inspired from recent progress in machine learning (ML), such as tree-based methods and variations, offer the potential to revolutionize how insurance premiums are computed. These methods could enable actuaries to propose models that are both fairer and more accurate. <br /> <br /> One of the goals of this project is to explore a combined GLMs and Bayesian treed models (e.g., Bayesian CART) for insurance ratemaking. Some key questions to be explored include feature selection, choice of loss functions, class-imbalance problem for insurance data, model stability, and interpretability. The Bayesian tree models are known to work very well for many types of real-life data but the underlying theory is still to be understood by researchers. Another goal of this project is to try to understand the mechanism of the method from a theoretical point of view.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:107%"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Bayesian tree models with applications to Insurance ratemaking </span></span></span></span> as well as <a href="">Dr Lanpeng Ji</a>, <a href="">Dr Geogios Aiviliotis</a>&nbsp;and <a href="">Prof Charles Taylor</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p>UK&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a>, <a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a>&nbsp;(open from October 2023) and <a href="">School of Mathematics Scholarships</a> are available to UK applicants. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p>Non-UK &ndash;<a href="">The School of Mathematics Scholarships</a> are available to all International applicants.&nbsp; The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (open from October 2023). The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are not covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For general enquiries about applications, contact our admissions team:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>For questions about the research project, contact Dr Lanpeng Ji, Email: <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>