The following is an excerpt from "PREDICTION", by John Ehlers
Niels Bohr said “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”. Actually, prediction is pretty easy in the context of technical analysis. All you have to do is to assume the market will behave in the immediate future just as it has behaved in the immediate past. In this article we will explore several different techniques that put the philosophy into practice.
Linear extrapolation takes the philosophical approach quite literally. Linear extrapolation simply takes the difference of the last two bars and adds that difference to the value of the last bar to form the prediction for the next bar. The prediction is extended further into the future by taking the last predicted value as real data and repeating the process of adding the most recent difference to it. The process can be repeated over and over to extend the prediction even further.
Linear extrapolation is an FIR filter, meaning it depends only on the data input rather than on a previously computed value. Since the output of an FIR filter depends only on delayed input data, the resulting lag is somewhat like the delay of water coming out the end of a hose after it supplied at the input. Linear extrapolation has a negative group delay at the longer cycle periods of the spectrum, which means water comes out the end of the hose before it is applied at the input. Of course the analogy breaks down, but it is fun to think of it that way. As shown in Figure 1, the actual group delay varies across the spectrum. For frequency components less than .167 (i.e. a period of 6 bars) the group delay is negative, meaning the filter is predictive. However, the filter has a positive group delay for cycle components whose periods are shorter than 6 bars.
Here’s the practical ramification of the group delay: Suppose we are projecting the prediction 5 bars into the future. This is fine as long as the market is continued to trend up in the same direction. But, when we get a reversal, the prediction continues upward for 5 bars after the reversal. That is, the prediction fails just when you need it the most. An interesting phenomenon is that, regardless of how far the extrapolation extends into the future, the prediction will always cross the signal at the same spot along the time axis. The result is that the prediction will have an overshoot. The amplitude of the overshoot is a function of how far the extrapolation has been carried into the future.
But the overshoot gives us an opportunity to make a useful prediction at the cyclic turning point of band limited signals (i.e. oscillators having a zero mean). If we reduce the overshoot by reducing the gain of the prediction, we then also move the crossing of the prediction and the original signal into the future. Since the group delay varies across the spectrum, the effect will be less effective for the shorter cycles in the data. Nonetheless, the technique is effective for both discretionary trading and automated trading in the majority of cases.
EXPLORING THE CODE
Before we predict, we need to create a band limited indicator from which to make the prediction. I have selected a “roofing filter” consisting of a High Pass Filter followed by a Low Pass Filter. The tunable parameter of the High Pass Filter is HPPeriod. Think of it as a “stone wall filter” where cycle period components longer than HPPeriod are completely rejected and cycle period components shorter than HPPeriod are passed without attenuation. If HPPeriod is set to be a large number (e.g. 250) the indicator will tend to look more like a trending indicator. If HPPeriod is set to be a smaller number (e.g. 20) the indicator will look more like a cycling indicator. The Low Pass Filter is a Hann Windowed FIR filter whose tunable parameter is LPPeriod. Think of it as a “stone wall filter” where cycle period components shorter than LPPeriod are completely rejected and cycle period components longer than LPPeriod are passed without attenuation. The purpose of the Low Pass filter is to smooth the signal. Thus, the combination of these two filters forms a “roofing filter”, named Filt, that passes spectrum components between LPPeriod and HPPeriod.
Since working into the future is not allowed in EasyLanguage variables, we need to convert the Filt variable to the data array XX. The data array is first filled with real data out to “Length”. I selected Length = 10 simply to have a convenient starting point for the prediction. The next block of code is the prediction into the future. It is easiest to understand if we consider the case where count = 0. Then, in English, the next value of the data array is equal to the current value of the data array plus the difference between the current value and the previous value. That makes the prediction one bar into the future. The process is repeated for each value of count until predictions up to 10 bars in the future are contained in the data array. Next, the selected prediction is converted from the data array to the variable “Prediction”. Filt is plotted in Red and Prediction is plotted in yellow.
The Predict Extrapolation indicator is shown above for the Emini S&P Futures contract using the default input parameters. Filt is plotted in red and Predict is plotted in yellow. The crossings of the Predict and Filt lines provide reliable buy and sell timing signals. There is some overshoot for the shorter cycle periods, for example in February and March 2021, but the only effect is a late timing signal. Further reducing the gain and/or reducing the BarsFwd inputs would provide better timing signals during this period.
- Loxx's Expanded source types:
Library for expanded source types:
Explanation for expanded source types:
- Three different signal types: 1) Prediction/Filter crosses; 2) Prediction middle crosses; and, 3) Filter middle crosses.
- Bar coloring to color trend.
- Signals, both Long and Short.
- Alerts, both Long and Short.
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