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Replication of backtest results in Research environment

Using the research environmment, I'm able to backtest strategies with longer computation time. While this is great, I have a list of similar strategies that are able to be backtested in the regular Q backtester. To compare strategies, i will need to bridge the gap between calculating performance numbers that Q backtester does versus in the research environment such that, if I carry out the same strategy on both research and backtest environment, the statistics returned should be virtually the same. However, i can't get my results to match.

Let's say I want to execute a min. var strategy on both the backtester and research environment. My goal is to have the ending results match and let's assume my only concern statistic is Max Drawdown
attached below is the research notebook AND the backtest strategy. The code i'm using to calculate max_drawdown is said to be the same as the one Q uses taken from zipline/finance/risk/

Is there anything I'm missing out on?

Loading notebook preview...
3 responses

Attached in this post is the Q backtest, as you can see the max drawdown is 31.3% versus 38.86% on the research environment.

Clone Algorithm
Total Returns
Max Drawdown
Benchmark Returns
Returns 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Alpha 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Beta 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Sharpe 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Sortino 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Volatility 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Max Drawdown 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
from scipy import optimize
from sklearn.covariance import OAS, LedoitWolf
import statsmodels.regression.linear_model as lm
import math

def initialize(context):
    context.lookback = 252*2 # 252*n = n years
    set_slippage(slippage.VolumeShareSlippage(volume_limit=1, price_impact=0))
    context.stocks = symbols('XLF', 'XLE', 'XLU', 'XLK', 'XLB', 'XLP', 'XLY', 'XLI', 'XLV')
    context.firstime = True
def trade(context,data):
        w = estimate(context,data)
        # Close all current positions
        for stock in context.portfolio.positions:
            if stock not in w.index:
               order_target(stock, 0)  

        for i,n in enumerate(w):
            if w.index[i] in data:
                if w.index[i] in context.portfolio.positions: #If position already exists
                    order_target_percent(w.index[i], n)
                    order_percent(w.index[i], n)
def estimate(context,data):
        # Structure a portfolio such that it maximizes dividend yield while lowering volatility
        # Covar estimation
        price_history = history(bar_count=context.lookback, frequency="1d", field='price')
        ret = (price_history/price_history.shift(5)-1).dropna(axis=0)[5::5]
        covar = ret.cov() # Normal Cov
        w = min_var_weights(covar, context.stocks)

        esigma = np.sqrt(,,w)))*math.sqrt(52)*100'Expected Volatility: '+str(esigma)+'%')
        w = pd.Series(np.round(1000*w)/1000)'Number of Stocks: '+str(sum(abs(w)>0)))'Current Leverage: '+str(context.account.leverage))
        w.index = ret.columns
        return w  #Cash Cushion of X%

def handle_data(context, data):

def min_var_weights(cov, stocks):
    Returns a dictionary of sid:weight pairs.
    cov = pd.DataFrame(2*cov)
    x = np.array([0.]*(len(cov)+1))
    #x = np.ones(len(cov) + 1)
    x[-1] = 1.0
    p = lagrangize(cov)
    weights = np.linalg.solve(p, x)[:-1]
    weights = pd.Series(weights, index=stocks)
    return weights

def lagrangize(df):
    Utility funcion to format a DataFrame 
    in order to solve a Lagrangian sysem. 
    df = df
    df['lambda'] = np.ones(len(df))
    z = np.ones(len(df) + 1)
    x = np.ones(len(df) + 1)
    z[-1] = 0.0
    x[-1] = 1.0
    m = [i for i in df.as_matrix()]
    return pd.DataFrame(np.array(m))
There was a runtime error.

Is there a reason you can't use perf_manual max drawdown key?

perf_manual =,1,0))  
print perf_manual["max_drawdown"]  

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Even then, the values are off from the actual backtest, which gives one number, and assuming we use the last value of max_drawdown, it's still off.