Time/date periods

StartDate

Start of the simulation. The start date can be determined in several different ways:
- A 4-digit number (f.i. 2006) gives the number of the historical data file with which the simulation starts (f.i. EURUSD_2006.t6). If the file has no year number (f.i. MSFT.t6), StartDate is ignored and the simulation starts with the start of the file.
- A date in the 8-digit yyyymmdd format starts the backtest at a certain date (f.i. 20090401 = April 1st, 2009). The simulation period begins earlier because the LookBack period is added in front of the date. Due to the lookback period, StartDate = 2006 starts the backtest normally at a later date than StartDate = 20060101.
- StartDate = NOW; sets the start date to the current day, and executes the run function in [Trade] mode immediately after the lookback period, regardless of the current time. Useful for strategies that do not run permanently, but are only started for modifying a portfolio.
- StartDate = 0; (default) starts the simulation with the year number given by NumYears before the current year.

EndDate

End of the simulation, either 4 digits for determining the number of the last historical price data file (similar to StartDate), or a date in yyyymmdd format for ending the backtest at that date (f.i. 20091231 = December 31, 2009). If at 0 (default), or if the file has no year number, the simulation runs until the end of the available price history.

NumYears

Number of years of the simulation if no StartDate or EndDate is given (default: 6 years). The current year counts as one full year. Set NumYears to -1 for not loading any prices by assetHistory.

MaxBars

Maximum number of bars of the simulation (default: 0 = no limit). The simulation ends either at EndDate or after the given number of bars (including the LookBack period), whichever happens earlier.
 

UpdateDays

Interval in days for automatically downloading new price data and adding it to the price history file (default: 0 = don't download new price data). If the price history is older than the given number of days, the download process starts automatically at the begin of a [Test] or [Train] cycle. Set UpdateDays to -1 for always loading all prices up to the current time.

ReTrainDays

Interval in days for automatically retraining a live trading system (Zorro S required; default: 0 = no automatic retraining). Set this to the duration of the WFO test period for keeping a WFO trained system in sync with the market.

GapDays

Maximum allowed gap in days in the historic prices and in the downloaded price data (default: 0 = no gap checking). Set this to 2 or above in order to check the price curve for gaps and inconsistencies, and give an Error 047 message if any are detected. Weekends and international holidays are except from gap checking. Gaps of 1 day are normal in historic prices due to national holidays.
 

StartWeek

Start of the business week in dhhmm UTC, where d = day number (1 = Monday .. 7 = Sunday), hh = hour and mm = minute (not used). Default: 72300 (Sunday 23:00 UTC). Used to determine the weekend for BarMode flags. 

EndWeek

End of the business week in dhhmm UTC. Default: 52000 (Friday 20:00 UTC). Weekend begins at or after this time. Used to determine the weekend for BarMode flags. 

StartMarket

Daily market opening time in hhmm local time format, hh = hour and mm = minute. Default: 0930. Used for the day and market functions and for AssetMarket. Also prevents trading before this time and sampling of bars dependent on BarMode flags. 

EndMarket

Daily market closing time in hhmm local time format, hh = hour and mm = minute. Default: 1600. Used for the day and market functions and for AssetMarket. Also prevents trading at or after this time and sampling of bars dependent on BarMode flags. Set StartMarket = EndMarket = 0 for disabling market closing.

Type:

int
 

Holidays

Pointer to an int array of holiday dates either in yyyymmdd or in mmdd format, ending with 0. Default: { 0101, 1225, 0 }. Can be set to a 0-terminated array for defining local stock market holidays. The yyyymmdd format specifies a holiday only in a certain year, mmdd for all years.

Type:

int*
 

Now

Date/time in Windows DATE format for passing a certain point in time to the contractUpdate function or to date/time functions that support the NOW argument. When at 0 (default), the current PC date and time is used for NOW.

Type:

var
 

Remarks:

Example:

StartDate = 20150901; // start the simulation in September 2015
EndDate = 20160901; // and simulate one year. static int USHolidays[10] = { 0101, 0218, 0419, 0704, 0527, 0902, 1128, 1225, 0 }; Holidays = USHolidays; // set up US holidays

See also:

bar, BarPeriod, LookBack, Detrend, time/date functions, PlotDate

 

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