Differential Machine Learning
Differential machine learning (ML) extends supervised learning, with models trained on examples of not only inputs and labels, but also differentials of labels to inputs. Differential ML is applicable in all situations where high quality first order derivatives wrt training inputs are available. In the context of financial Derivatives risk management, pathwise differentials are efficiently computed with automatic adjoint differentiation (AAD). Differential ML, combined with AAD, provides extremely effective pricing and risk approximations. We can produce fast pricing analytics in models too complex for closed form solutions, extract the risk factors of complex transactions and trading books, and effectively compute risk management metrics like reports across a large number of scenarios, backtesting and simulation of hedge strategies, or capital regulations. The article focuses on differential deep learning (DL), arguably the strongest application. Standard DL trains neural networks (NN) on punctual examples, whereas differential DL teaches them the shape of the target function, resulting in vastly improved performance, illustrated with a number of numerical examples, both idealized and real world. In the online appendices, we apply differential learning to other ML models, like classic regression or principal component analysis (PCA), with equally remarkable results. This paper is meant to be read in conjunction with its companion GitHub repo this https URL, where we posted a TensorFlow implementation, tested on Google Colab, along with examples from the article and additional ones. We also posted appendices covering many practical implementation details not covered in the paper, mathematical proofs, application to ML models besides neural networks and extensions necessary for a reliable implementation in production.