Weighted Monte Carlo: A New Technique for Calibrating Asset-Pricing Models
Posted: 12 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2001
A general approach for calibrating Monte Carlo models to the market prices of benchmark securities is presented. Starting from a given model for market dynamics (price diffusion, rate diffusion, etc.), the algorithm corrects price-misspecifications and finite-sample effects in the simulation by assigning "probability weights" to the simulated paths. The choice of weights is done by minimizing the Kullback-Leibler relative entropy distance of the posterior measure to the empirical measure. The resulting ensemble prices the given set of benchmark instruments exactly or in the sense of least-squares. We discuss pricing and hedging in the context of these weighted Monte Carlo models. A significant reduction of variance is demonstrated theoretically as well as numerically. Concrete applications to the calibration of stochastic volatility models and term-structure models with up to 40 benchmark instruments are presented. The construction of implied volatility surfaces and forward-rate curves and the pricing and hedging of exotic options are investigated through several examples.
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