Option Pricing Using Fourier Space Time-Stepping Framework

134 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2009

Date Written: August 18, 2009


This thesis develops a generic framework based on the Fourier transform for pricing and hedging of various options in equity, commodity, currency, and insurance markets. The pricing problem can be reduced to solving a partial integro-differential equation (PIDE). The Fourier Space Time-stepping (FST) framework developed in this thesis circumvents the problems associated with the existing finite difference methods by utilizing the Fourier transform to solve the PIDE. The FST framework-based methods are generic, highly efficient and rapidly convergent.

The Fourier transform can be applied to the pricing PIDE to obtain a linear system of ordinary differential equations that can be solved explicitly. Solving the PIDE in Fourier space allows for the integral term to be handled efficiently and avoids the asymmetrical treatment of diffusion and integral terms, common in the finite difference schemes found in the literature. For path-independent options, prices can be obtained for a range of stock prices in one iteration of the algorithm. For exotic, path-dependent options, a time-stepping methodology is developed to handle barriers, free boundaries, and exercise policies.

The thesis includes applications of the FST framework-based methods to a wide range of option pricing problems. Pricing of single- and multi-asset, European and path-dependent options under independent-increment exponential Levy stock price models, common in equity and insurance markets, can be done efficiently via the cornerstone FST method. Mean-reverting Levy spot price models, common in commodity markets, are handled by introducing a frequency transformation, which can be readily computed via scaling of the option value function. Generating stochastic volatility, to match the long-term equity options market data, and stochastic skew, observed in currency markets, is addressed by introducing a non-stationary extension of multi-dimensional Levy processes using regime-switching. Finally, codependent jumps in multi-asset models are introduced through copulas.

The FST methods are computationally efficient, running in O(MN^d log_2 N) time with M time steps and N space points in each dimension on a d-dimensional grid. The methods achieve second-order convergence in space; for American options, a penalty method is used to attain second-order convergence in time. Furthermore, graphics processing units are utilized to further reduce the computational time of FST methods.

Keywords: Option pricing, Levy processes, partial integro-differential equation, Fourier transform

JEL Classification: G12, G13, C61, C63

Suggested Citation

Surkov, Vladimir, Option Pricing Using Fourier Space Time-Stepping Framework (August 18, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479738 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1479738

Vladimir Surkov (Contact Author)

RBC Capital Markets ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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