MFI Heat Maps are a visually appealing way to display the values of 29 different MFIs at the same time while being able to make sense of it. Each plot within the Indicator represents a different MFI value. The higher you get up, the longer the length that was used for this MFI. This Indicator also features the use of Machine Learning to help balance the MFI levels. It doesn’t solely rely upon Machine Learning but instead incorporates a growing length MFI averaged with the Machine Learning MFI at any given index.
For instance, say we are calculating the 10th plot from the bottom, the MFI would be an average of:
- MFI(source, 11)
- Machine Learning MFI at Index of 10
We do it this way as they both help smooth each other out without relying solely on just one calculation method.
Due to plot limitations, you are capped at 28 Plot Amounts within this indicator, but that is still quite a bit of information you can glean from a Heat Map.
The Machine Learning used in this indicator is of the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN). It uses a Fast and Slow MFI calculation then sorts through them over Machine Learning Length and calculates the differences between them. It then slices off KNN length to create our Max/Min Distances allotted. It adds the average between Fast and Slow MFIs to a Viable Distances array if their distances are within the KNN Min/Max distance. It then averages all distances in the Viable Distances array and returns the result.
The result of the KNN Function is saved to another ML Data array whose length is that of Plot Amount (Heat Map Size). This way each Index of the ML Data array can be indexed according to the Heat Map Size.
The Average of the ML Data array is the MFI line (white) that you’ll see plotted on the Indicator. There is also the SMA of the MFI Average (orange) which is likewise plotted. These plots allow you to visualize where the ML MFI is sitting and can potentially be useful for seeing when the MFI Average and SMA cross over and under each other.
We’ve heard many people talk highly of RSI, but sadly not too many even refer to MFI. MFI oftentimes may be overlooked, especially with new traders who may not even know what it is. Essentially MFI is an RSI but it also incorporates Volume into its calculations, which in our opinion leads to a more accurate reading; afterall, what is price movement without Volume.
You may be thinking, this Indicator looks appealing to the eye, but how do I benefit from it trading wise?
Before we get into our visual examples, let's talk briefly about what makes Heat Maps in general a useful tool for trading. Heat Maps give us the ability to visualize and understand lots of data while removing the clutter. We can understand the data of 29 different MFIs without having to look at and decipher 29 different MFI plots. When you overlay too many MFI lines on top of each other, they can be very difficult to read and oftentimes end up actually hindering your Technical Analysis. For this reason, we have a simple solution to this problem; Heat Maps. This MFI Heat Map allows you to easily know (in a relative %) what the MFI level is for varying lengths. For Instance, the First (bottom) plot indexes an MFI of (K(0) (loop of Plot Amount) + Smoothing Length (default 1)) = 1. Since this is indexing (usually) a very low length, it will change much quicker. Whereas the Last (top) plot indexes an MFI of (K(27) (loop of Plot Amount) + Smoothing Length (default 1)) = 28. This is indexing a much higher length of MFI which results in the MFI the higher you go up in the Heat Map to move much slower.
Heat Maps give us the ability to see changes happening over multiple MFIs at the same time, which can be very useful for seeing shifts in MFI / Momentum. Remember, MFI incorporates Volume, so even if the price goes up a lot, if there was low volume, the MFI won’t move as much as an RSI would. However, likewise, if there is high volume but low price movement, the MFI will move slightly more than the RSI.
Heat Maps change color based on their MFI level. If the MFI is >= 90 it is HOT (red), if the MFI <= 9 it is COLD (teal, think of ICE). Green represents an MFI of 50-59 and Dark Blue represents an MFI of 40-49. Green and Dark blue are the most common colors as all the others are more ‘Extreme’ MFI levels.
Okay, time to get to the Examples:
Since there is so much going on in Heat Maps, we’ve decided to focus this tutorial to this specific area and talk about individual locations before talking about it as a whole.
If you refer to the example above where there are 2 white circles; these white circles are highlighting a key location you’ll be wanting to identify within your Heat Maps, many things are happening here:
- The MFI crossed over the SMA (bullish).
- The Heat Map started changing from mid/dark Blue (30-50 MFI) to Green (50-59 MFI) around the midline (the 50% dashed like).
- The Lower levels of the Heat Map are turning Yellow/Orange/Red (60-100 MFI).
- The Upper Levels of the Heat Map are still Light Blue - Green (10-50 MFI).
The 4 Key points above, all point towards potential Bullish Momentum changes. You’re likely wondering, but why? Let's discuss about each one in more specific detail:
1. The MFI crossed over the SMA (bullish): What this tells us is that the current MFI Average is now greater than its average over the last (default) 16 bars. This means there's been a large amount of Money Flow (Price and Volume) recently (subjectively based on the last (default) 16 average). This is one of the leading Bullish / Bearish signals you will see within this Indicator. You can enable Signals within the Settings and/or even add Alerts for when these crossings occur.
2. The Heat Map started changing from mid/dark Blue (30-50 MFI) to Green (50-59 MFI) around the midline (the 50% dashed like): This shows us that the index’s in the mid (if using all 28 heat map plots it would be at 14) has already received some of this momentum change. If you look at the second white circle (right), you’ll also notice the higher MFI plot indexes are also green. This is because since their length is long they still have some momentum and strength from the first white circle (left). Just because the first white circle failed in its bullish push, doesn’t mean it didn’t achieve momentum that would later on help to push the price up.
3. The Lower levels of the Heat Map are turning Yellow/Orange/Red (60-100 MFI): It occurred somewhat in the left white circle, but mainly in the right white circle. This shows us the MFI is very high on the lower lengths, this may lead to the current, middle and higher length MFIs following suit soon. Remember it has to work its way up, the higher levels can’t go red unless the lower levels go red first and the higher levels can also lag quite a bit behind and take awhile to catch up, this is normal, expected and meant to happen. Vice versa is also true with getting higher levels to go cold (light teal (think of ICE)).
4. The Upper Levels of the Heat Map are still Light Blue - Green (10-50 MFI): You might think at first that this is a bad thing, but it's not! Remember you want to be Fearful when others are Greedy and Greedy when others are Fearful! You don’t want to buy when the higher levels have a high MFI, you want to buy when you see the momentum pushing up in the lower MFI levels (getting yellow/orange/red in the low levels) while it is still Cold in the higher levels (BLUE OR GREEN, nothing higher than green as it is already slightly too high). There will be many times that it is Yellow or possibly Orange in the high levels and the bullish push still happens, but this is much more risky! The key to trading is to minimize risks while maximizing potential.
Hopefully now you’re getting an idea of how to spot potential bullish momentum changes, but what about bearish momentum changes? Technically they are the exact opposite, so we don’t need to go into as much detail, but lets still take a look at a few examples:
In the example above we marked the 3 times where it was displaying overly bullish characteristics. We marked the bullish momentum occurring with arrows. If you look closely at the start of the arrow to where it finishes, you’ll notice how the heat (HOT)(RED) works its way up from the lower levels to the higher levels. We then see the MFI to SMA cross under. In all 3 of these examples the heat made it all the way to the top of the chart. These are all very bearish signals that represent a bearish momentum movement that may occur soon.
Also, please note, the level the MFI is at DOES matter! That line isn’t there simply for you to see when there are crosses over and under. The MFI is considered to be Overbought when it is greater than 70 (the upper white dashed line, it is just formatted to be on a different scale cause there are 28 plots, but it represents 70). The MFI is considered to be Oversold when it is less than 30 (the lower white dashed line).
If we look to the left a little here where a big drop in price occurred shortly after our MFI and SMA crossed, would we have been able to identify it using the Heat Maps? Likely, No. There was some color change in the lower levels a few bars prior that went yellow/orange/red but before this cross happened they all went back to Dark Blue. In the middle section when the cross happened it was only Green and Yellow and in the upper section we are Blue. This would be a very risky trade to go on as the only real Bearish Indication was the MFI to SMA cross under. Remember, you want to reduce risk, you don’t want to simply trade on everytime the MFI and SMA cross each other or you’ll be getting yourself into many risky trades based on false signals.
Based on what you’ve learned above, can you see the signs that are indicating where this white circle may have potential for a bullish momentum change?
Now that we are more zoomed in, you may also be noticing there are colors to the price bars. This can be disabled in the settings, but just so you know what they mean, let’s zoom in a little more and talk about it.
We’ve condensed the Indicator a bit so you can see the bars better here. The colors that are displayed on these bars are the Heat Map value for your MFI (the white line in the Indicator). This way you can better see when the Price is Hot and Cold. As you may see while looking, the colors generally go from cold to hot when bullish momentum is happening and hot to cold when bearish momentum is happening. We don’t recommend solely looking at the bars as indicators to MFI momentum change, as seeing the Heat Map will give you much more data; however it can be nice to see the Heat Map projected on the bars rather than trying to eyeball it yourself or hover over each bar specifically to see their levels.
We will conclude our Tutorial here. Hopefully this has given you some insight to how useful Heat Maps can be and why it works well with a Machine Learning (KNN) Model applied to the MFI.
PLEASE NOTE: You can adjust the line width for the Heat Map within the settings. If you condense the Indicator a lot or have a small screen, likely use a length of 1-2. If you have it stretched out or a large screen, a length of 2-3 will work nice. You just don’t want to have the lines overlapping or it defeats the purpose of a Heat Map. Also, the bigger the linewidth, generally you’ll want to increase the Transparency within the Settings also as it can get quite bright and hurt your eyes over time.
- Show MFI and SMA Crossing Signals: MFI and SMA Crossing is one of the leading Bullish and Bearish Signals in this Indicator. You can also add alerts for these signals.
- Plot Amount: How many plots are used in this Heat Map. (2 - 28).
- Source: The Source to use in all MFI calculations.
- Smooth Initial MFI Length: How much to smooth the Fast and Slow MFI calculation by. 1 = No smoothing.
- MFI SMA Length: What length we smooth the MFI Average over to get our MFI SMA.
- Average MFI data by adding a lookback to the Source: While populating our Heat Map with the MFI's, should use use the Source each MFI Length increase or should we also lookback a Source each MFI Length Increase.
- KNN Distance Requirement: To be a valid KNN, it needs to abide by a Distance calculation. Generally only Max is used, but you can change it if it suits your trading style better.
- Machine Learning Length: How much ML data should we store? The longer the length generally the smoother the result; which may not be as accurate for something like a Heat Map, so keeping this relatively low may lead to more accurate results.
- KNN Length: How many KNN are used in the slice to calculate max/min distance allowed.
- Fast Length: Fast MFI length used in KNN to calculate distances by comparing its distance with the Slow MFI Length.
- Slow Length: Slow MFI length used in KNN to calculate distances by comparing its distance with the Fast MFI Length.
- Smoothing Length: When populating our Heat Map, at what length do we start our MFI calculations with (A Higher value with result in a slower and more smoothed MFI / Heat Map).
- Change Bar Color: Change bar colors to MFI Avg Color.
- Heat Map Transparency: If there isn't any transparency it can be a little hard on the eyes. The Greater the Line Width, generally the more transparency you'll want for your eyes.
- Line Width: Set how wide the Heat Map lines are
- MFI 90-100 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 80-89 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 70-79 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 60-69 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 50-59 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 40-49 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 30-39 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 20-29 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 10-19 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
- MFI 0-100 Color: Color when the MFI is between these levels.
If you have any questions, comments, ideas or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.
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