In the past decade, the popularity of realized measures and various linear models for volatility forecasting has attracted attention in the literature on the price variability of energy markets. However, results that would guide practitioners to a specific estimator and model when aiming for the best forecasting accuracy are missing. This paper contributes to the ongoing debate with a comprehensive evaluation of multiple-step-ahead volatility forecasts of energy markets using several popular high-frequency measures and forecasting models. To capture the complex patterns hidden to linear models commonly used to forecast realized volatility, this paper also contributes to the literature by coupling realized measures with artificial neural networks as a forecasting tool. Forecasting performance is compared across models as well as realized measures of crude oil, heating oil, and natural gas volatility during three qualitatively distinct periods covering the precrisis period, recent global turmoil of markets in 2008, and the most recent post-crisis period. We conclude that coupling realized measures with artificial neural networks results in both statistical and economic gains, reducing the tendency to over-predict volatility uniformly during all tested periods. Our analysis favors the median realized volatility, as it delivers the best performance and is a computationally simple alternative for practitioners.
artificial neural networks realized volatility multiple-step-ahead forecasts energy markets