Particle systems with singular interaction through hitting times: Application in systemic risk modeling

Sergey Nadtochiy, Mykhaylo Shkolnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We propose an interacting particle system to model the evolution of a system of banks with mutual exposures. In this model, a bank defaults when its normalized asset value hits a lower threshold, and its default causes instantaneous losses to other banks, possibly triggering a cascade of defaults. The strength of this interaction is determined by the level of the so-called noncore exposure. We show that, when the size of the system becomes large, the cumulative loss process of a bank resulting from the defaults of other banks exhibits discontinuities. These discontinuities are naturally interpreted as systemic events, and we characterize them explicitly in terms of the level of noncore exposure and the fraction of banks that are “about to default.” The main mathematical challenges of our work stem from the very singular nature of the interaction between the particles, which is inherited by the limiting system. A similar particle system is analyzed in [Ann. Appl. Probab. 25 (2015) 2096–2133] and [Stochastic Process. Appl. 125 (2015) 2451–2492], and we build on and extend their results. In particular, we characterize the large-population limit of the system and analyze the jump times, the regularity between jumps, and the local uniqueness of the limiting process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-129
Number of pages41
JournalAnnals of Applied Probability
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


  • Banking systems
  • Blow-ups in parabolic partial differential equations
  • Default cascades
  • Interacting particle systems
  • Large system limits
  • Loss of continuity
  • Mean-field models
  • Noncore exposures
  • Nonlinear cauchy–dirichlet problems
  • Regularity estimates
  • Self-excitation
  • Singular interaction
  • Systemic crises
  • Systemic risk


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