Arbitrary Number of Stencil Points

The standard finite difference implementations of derivative pricing algorithms based on partial differential equations have a spatial order of convergence of two. Reason is that these implementations are using a three point central stencil for the first and second order derivatives. The three point stencil leads to a tridiagonal matrix. Such linear systems can be solved efficiently with help of the Thomas algorithm.

Higher order of spatial accuracy relies on stencils with more points. The corresponding linear systems can no longer be solved by the Thomas algorithm but by the BiCGStab iterative solver with the classical three point stencil as a very efficient preconditioner. The calculation algorithm for the coefficients of larger stencils on arbitrary grids is outlined in [1].

Before using higher order stencils one should first make sure, that the two standard error reduction techniques are in place, namely adaptive grid refinement around important points [2] and cell averaging around special points of the payoff at maturity or – equally effective for vanilla options – put the strike in the middle between two grid points. Let’s focus on the Black-Scholes-Merton PDE

\displaystyle \frac{\partial V}{\partial t} + \frac{1}{2}\sigma^2\frac{\partial^2 V}{\partial x^2} + \left(r-q-\frac{\sigma^2}{2}\right)\frac{\partial V}{\partial x} -rV = 0 \ \wedge \ x= \ln S

after transforming it to the heat equation

\displaystyle \frac{\partial u}{\partial \tau}=\frac{1}{2}\sigma^2\frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial y^2} \ \wedge \ y = x + \left(r-q-\frac{1}{2}\sigma^2\right)\tau \ \wedge \ t=T-\tau \ \wedge \ u=e^{r\tau}V

to demonstrate the convergence improvements. The spatial pricing error is defined as the RMSE for a set of benchmark options. In this example the benchmark portfolio consists of OTM call or put options with strikes

k\in \{50, 75, 90, 100, 110, 125, 150, 200\}.

The other parameters in this example are

S_0=100, r=5\%, q=2.5\%, \sigma=20\%, T=1.

The Crank-Nicolson scheme with “more than enough” time steps was used to integrate the PDE in time direction such that only the spatial error remains.

convergence

As can be seen in the diagram above the spatial order of convergence increases from second order to fourth order when moving from the standard three point to the five point stencil. On the other hand solving the resulting linear systems takes longer now. All in all only if the target RMSE is below 10^{-5}, the five point stencil will be faster than the standard three point discretization.

The diagram below shoes the effective combination of a five point stencil and the Richardson extrapolation.

richardsonDiagrams are based on the test cases testHigerOrderBSOptionPricing and
testHigerOrderAndRichardsonExtrapolationg in the PR #483.

 

[1] B. Fornberg, [1988], Generation of Finite Difference Formulas on Arbitrarily Spaced Grids.
[2] Tavella, D. and C.Randall [2000], Pricing Financial Instruments The Finite Dierence Method, Wiley Series In Financial Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, New York

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Andreasen-Huge Volatility Interpolation

A few years ago Andreasen and Huge have introduced an efficient and arbitrage free volatility interpolation method [1] based on a one step finite difference implicit Euler scheme applied to a local volatility parametrization. Probably the most notable use case is the generation of a local volatility surface from a set of option quotes.

Starting point is Dupire’s forward equation for the prices of European call options C_t(T, K) at time t with strike K and maturity T is given by

\displaystyle \frac{\partial C_t(T, K)}{\partial T} = \frac{1}{2}\sigma_{LV}^2(T,K)K^2\frac{\partial^2 C_t(T, K)}{\partial K^2} - \left(r(T) -q(T)\right) K\frac{\partial C_t(T, K)}{\partial K}-q(T)C_t(T, K)

Define the normalized call price \hat{C}_t(T, \kappa) in terms of the discount factor P(t,T), the forward price F(t,T) and the moneyness \kappa as

\begin{array}{rcl} \displaystyle P(t,T) &=& \displaystyle  e^{-\int_t^T r(\tau)d\tau} \nonumber \\ \displaystyle  F(t,T) &=&  S_t  \displaystyle  e^{\int_t^T \left( r(\tau)-q(\tau)\right)d\tau} \nonumber \\ \displaystyle \kappa &=& \displaystyle \frac{K}{F(t,T)} \nonumber \\ \displaystyle \hat{C}_t(T, \kappa) &=& \displaystyle \frac{C_t \left( T, \kappa F(t,T) \right) }{P(t,T)F(t,T)} \nonumber \end{array}.

The Dupire forward equation for the normalized prices \hat{C}_t(T,\kappa) is then given by

\displaystyle \frac{\partial \hat{C}_t(T, \kappa)}{\partial T} = \frac{1}{2} \sigma_{LV}(T, \kappa F(t,T))\kappa^2 \frac{\partial^2 \hat{C}_t(T, \kappa)}{\partial \kappa^2} .

Rewriting this equation in terms of u=\ln \kappa amd \tilde{C}_t(T, u) = \hat{C}_t(T, \kappa) yields

\displaystyle  \frac{\partial \tilde{C}_t(T,u)}{\partial T} = \frac{1}{2} \sigma_{LV}^2 \left( T, e^u F(t,T)\right) \left( \frac{\partial^2 \tilde{C}_t(T, u)}{\partial u^2} - \frac{\partial \tilde{C}_t(T, u)}{\partial u}\right)

The normalized put prices \tilde{P}_t(T, u) are fulfilling the same equation, which can easily been shown by inserting the call-put parity into the equation above

\displaystyle \tilde{C}_t(T, u) = \tilde{P}_t(T,u) + 1 - e^u.

The numerical stability of the original algorithm [1] can be enhanced for deep ITM options by calibrating to calls and puts instantaneously. Also the interpolation scheme has a significant impact on the stability. This topic has been discussed in [2][3]. Using concentrated meshes along the current spot level for the finite difference scheme is of advantage for the stability and accuracy of the algorithm.

In order to stabilize the calculation of the local volatility function

\displaystyle \sigma_{LV}\left( T, e^uF(t,T)\right) = \sqrt{\frac{2 \frac{\partial \tilde{C}_t(T,u)}{\partial T}}{  \frac{\partial^2 \tilde{C}_t(T, u)}{\partial u^2} - \frac{\partial \tilde{C}_t(T, u)}{\partial u} }}

one should evaluate the first order derivative of \tilde{C}_t(T,u) w.r.t. time T using the fact that the derivative of the inverse of the matrix \bf{A}(t) is given by

\displaystyle \frac{\partial \bf{A}(t)^{-1}}{\partial t} = -\bf{A}(t)^{-1} \frac{\partial \bf{A}(t)}{\partial t} \bf{A}(t)^{-1}

As an example, the diagram below shows different calibrations of the Andreasen-Huge volatility interpolation to a SABR volatility skew at discrete strike sets

x \in \{ 0.02, 0.025, 0.03, 0.035, 0.04, 0.05, 0.06\} \vee x\in \{0.03, 0.035, 0.04\}

for the SABR parameter

\alpha = 0.15, \beta = 0.8, \nu = 0.5, \rho = -0.48, \text{fwd} = 0.03, T=20
sabr

The QuantLib implementation is part of the release 1.12.

[1] J. Andreasen, B. Huge, Volatility Interpolation
[2] F. Le Floc’h, Andreasen-Huge interpolation – Don’t stay flat
[3] J. Healy, A spline to fill the gaps with Andreasen-Huge one-step method

The Collocating Local Volatility Model

In a recent paper [1] Lech Grzelak has introduced his Collocating Local Volatility Model (CLV). This model utilises the so called collocation method [2] to map the cumulative distribution function of an arbitrary kernel process onto the true cumulative distribution function (CDF) extracted from option market quotes.

Starting point for the collocating local volatility model is the market implied CDF of an underlying S_t at time t_i:

F_{S(t_i)}(x) = 1 + e^{r t_i}\frac{\partial V_{call}(t_0, t_i, K)}{\partial K}\mid_{K=x} = e^{r t_i}\frac{\partial V_{put}(t_0, t_i, K)}{\partial K}\mid_{K=x}

The prices can also be given by another calibrated pricing model, e.g. the Heston model or the SABR model. To increase numerical stability it is best to use OTM calls and puts.

The dynamics of the spot process S_t should be given by some stochastic process X_t and a deterministic mapping function g(t, x) such that

S_t=g(t, X_t)

The mapping function g(t, x) ensures that the terminal distribution of S_t given by the CLV model matches the market implied CDF. The model then reads

\begin{array}{rcl} S_t &=& g(t,X_t)  \nonumber \\ dX_t &=& \mu(X_t)dt + \sigma(X_t)dW_t\nonumber \end{array}

The choice of the stochastic process X_t does not influence the model prices of vanilla European options – they are given by the market implied terminal CDF – but influences the dynamics of the forward volatility skew generated by the model and therefore the prices of more exotic options. It is also preferable to choose an analytical trackable process X_t to reduce the computational efforts.

The collocation methods outlined in [2] defines an efficient algorithm to approximate the mapping function g(t, x) based on a set of collocation points x_{i,j}=x_j(T_i) for a given set of maturities T_i, i=1,...,m and j=1,...,n interpolation points per maturity T_i. Let F_{S_{T_i}}(s) be the market implied CDF for a given expiry T_i. Then we get

\begin{array}{rcl}  F_{X_{T_i}}\left(x_{i,j}\right) &=& F_{S_{T_i}}\left(g(T_i, x_{i,j})\right) = F_{S_{T_i}}  \left(s_{i,j}\right) \nonumber \\ \Rightarrow s_{i,j}&=&F^{-1}_{S_{T_i}}\left(F_{X_{T_i}}(x_{i,j})\right) \nonumber \end{array}

for the collocation points with s_{i,j}=g(T_i, x_{i,j}).

The optimal collocation points are given by the abscissas of the Gaussian quadrature for the terminal distribution of X_{T_i}. The simplest choice is a normally distribute kernel process X_t like the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process

dX_t = \kappa(\theta-X_t)dt + \sigma dW_t.

The corresponding collocation points of the Normal-CLV model are then given by

\begin{array}{rcl} x_j(t) &=& \mathbb{E}\left[X_t\right] + \sqrt{\mathbb{V}ar\left[X_t\right]} x_j^{\mathcal{N}(0,1)}  \nonumber \\ &=& \theta + \left(X_0 - \theta)e^{-\kappa t}\right) + \sqrt{\frac{\sigma^2}{2\kappa}\left(1-e^{-2\kappa t}\right)} x_j^{\mathcal{N}(0,1)}, \ j=1,...,n\end{array}

in which the collocation points x_j^{\mathcal{N}(0,1)} of the standard normal distribution can be calculated by QuantLib’s Gauss-Hermite quadrature implementation

Array abscissas = std::sqrt(2)*GaussHermiteIntegration(n).x()

Lagrange polynomials [3] are an efficient interpolation scheme to interpolate the mapping function g(t, x) between the collocation points

g(t, X_t) = \sum_{j=1}^N s_j (t)\prod_{k=1, j\neq k}^N \frac{X(t)-x_j(t)}{x_k(t)-x_j(t)}

Strictly speaking Lagrange polynomials do not preserve monotonicity and one could also use monotonic interpolation schemes supported by QuantLib’s spline interpolation routines. As outlined in [2] this method can also be used to approximate the inverse CDF of an “expensive” distributions.

Calibration of the Normal-CLV model to market prices is therefore pretty fast and straight forward as it takes the calibration of g(t, x_t).

Monte-Carlo pricing means simulating the trackable process X_t and evaluate the  Lagrange polynomial if the value of the spot process S_t is needed. Pricing via partial differential equation involves the one dimensinal PDE

\frac{\partial V}{\partial t} + \mu(x)\frac{\partial V}{\partial x} + \frac{1}{2}\sigma^2(x)\frac{\partial^2 V}{\partial x^2}-rV = 0

with the terminal condition at maturity time T

V(T, x_T) = \text{Payoff}\left(S_T=g(T,x_T)\right)

For plain vanilla options the upper and lower boundary condition is

\frac{\partial^2 V}{\partial x^2} = 0 \ \ \forall x\in\left\{x_{min},x_{max}\right\}

Example 1: Pricing error for plain vanilla options

  • Market prices are given by the Black-Scholes-Merton model with

S_0=100, r=0.1, q=0.04, \sigma=0.25.

  • Normal-CLV process parameters are given by

\kappa=1.0, \theta=0.1,\sigma=0.5,x_0=0.1

Ten collocation points are used to define the mapping function g(t, x) and the time to maturity is one year. The diagram below shows the deviation of the implied volatility of the Normal-CLV price based on the PDE solution from the true value of 25%

clvpriceerror

Even ten collocation points are already enough to obtain a very small pricing error. The advice in [2] to stretch the collocation grid has turned out to be very efficient if the number of collocation points gets larger.

Example 2: Forward volatility skew

  • Market prices are given by the Heston model with

S_0=100, r=0.1, q=0.05, \nu_o=0.09, \kappa=1.0, \theta=0.06, \sigma=0.4, \rho=-0.75.

  • Normal-CLV process parameters are given by

\kappa=-0.075, \theta=0.05,\sigma=0.25,x_0=0.05

The diagram below shows the implied volatility of an forward starting European option with moneyness varying from 0.5 to 2 and maturity date six month after the reset date.

hestonforward

The shape of the forward volatility surface of the Normal-CLV model shares important similarities with the surfaces of the more complex Heston or Heston Stochastic Local Volatility (Heston-SLV) model with large mixing angles \eta. But by the very nature of the Normal-CLV model, the forward volatility does not depend on the values of \theta, \sigma or x_0, which limits the variety of different forward skew dynamics this model can create. CLV models with non-normal kernel processes will support a greater variety.

Example 3: Pricing of Double-no-Touch options

  • Market prices are given by the Heston model with

S_0=100, r=0.02, q=0.01, \nu_o=0.09, \kappa=1.0, \theta=0.06, \sigma=0.8\rho=-0.8.

  • Normal-CLV process parameters are given by different \kappa values and

\theta=100,\sigma=0.15,x_0=100.0

Unsurprisingly the prices of 1Y Double-no-Touch options exhibit similar patterns with the Normal-CLV model and the Heston-SLV model as shown below in the “Moustache” graph. But the computational efforts using the Normal-CLV model are much smaller than the efforts for calibrating and solving the Heston-SLV model.

moustache.png

The QuantLib implementation of the Normal-CLV model is available as a pull request #117, the Rcpp based package Rclv contains the R interface to the QuantLib implementation and the demo code for all three examples.

[1] A. Grzelak, 2016, The CLV Framework – A Fresh Look at Efficient Pricing with Smile

[2] L.A. Grzelak, J.A.S. Witteveen, M.Suárez-Taboada, C.W. Oosterlee,
The Stochastic Collocation Monte Carlo Sampler: Highly efficient sampling from “expensive” distributions

[3] J-P. Berrut, L.N. Trefethen,  Barycentric Lagrange interpolation, SIAM Review, 46(3):501–517, 2004.

Probability Distribution of the Heston Model, Part I

The Heston model is defined by the following stochastic differential equation of the log spot x_t = \ln S_t

\begin{array}{rcl} dx_t &=& \left(r_t - q_t - \frac{\nu_t}{2}\right)dt + \sqrt\nu_t dW^{x}_t \nonumber \\ d\nu_t&=& \kappa\left(\theta-\nu_t \right ) dt + \sigma\sqrt\nu_t dW^{\nu}_t \nonumber \\ \rho dt &=& dW^{x}_tdW^{\nu}_t \end{array}

To a significant extent the popularity of the Heston model is based on the fact that semi-closed formulas for vanilla European options exist using the characteristic function of the model. The time evolution of the probability density function p(x_t, v_t, t) is given by the corresponding Fokker-Planck equation [1]

\frac{\partial p}{\partial t} = \frac{1}{2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}(\nu p) + \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x \partial \nu} (\rho\sigma\nu p) + \left(\frac{\nu}{2} -r_t+q_t\right)\frac{\partial}{\partial x} p + \frac{\sigma^2}{2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial \nu^2}(\nu p) - \frac{\partial}{\partial \nu}\left(\kappa\left(\theta-\nu \right ) p\right)

with the initial condition

p(x,\nu,t=0) = \delta(x-x_0)\delta(\nu-\nu_0)

The reduced probability density function

p(x_t, t \mid x_0,\nu_0) = \int_0^\infty p(x_t, \nu_t, t) d\nu

for this initial value problem can be calculated using a semi-closed integral formula [2]

\begin{array}{rcl} \Gamma &=& \kappa+i\rho\sigma p_x \\ \Omega &=& \sqrt{\Gamma^2 + \sigma^2\left(p_x^2-ip_x \right )} \\ p(x_t, t \mid \nu_0) &=& \int_{-\infty}^\infty \frac{dp_x}{2\pi}\exp\left( ip_x (x_t-x_0 -(r-q)t) -\nu_0 \frac{p_x^2-ip_x}{\Gamma + \Omega \coth\left(\Omega t/2 \right )} \right) \\ && \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \times \exp\left(-\frac{2\theta\kappa}{\sigma^2}\ln\left(\cosh\frac{\Omega t}{2} + \frac{\Gamma}{\Omega} \sinh \frac{\Omega t}{2}\right )+\frac{\kappa\Gamma\theta t}{\sigma^2} \right) \\ &=& \int_{-\infty}^\infty \frac{dp_x}{2\pi} \tilde{p}(p_x,t \mid \nu_0) \end{array}

This gives the opportunity to write a pricing engine for arbitrary European payoffs. The value of an European option with payoff function P(S_t) \in \mathbb{L}^2 at maturity t is given by

\begin{array}{rcl} \text{npv} &=& \int_{-\infty}^\infty dx_t\int_{0}^\infty d\nu_t P(S_0 e^{x_t+(r_t-q_t)t})e^{-r_t t} p(x_t,\nu_t,t) \\ &=& e^{-r_t t}\int_{-\infty}^\infty dx_t P(S_0 e^{x_t+(r_t-q_t)t})p(x_t,t \mid x_0,\nu_0) \end{array}

The calculation needs two nested integrations which can be carried out efficiently using e. g. the Gauss-Lobatto algorithm. The solution of the equation

| \tilde{p}(p_x, t \mid \nu_0)| = \text{QL\_EPSILON}

determines the upper boundary for the integration over p_x. The boundaries \left[ -x_{min}, x_{max}\right] for the integration over x_t are chosen such that the interval covers ten times the expected variance

-x_{min} = x_{max}=10\sqrt{\int_0^{t}E\left[ \nu_t \right ] dt} = 10\sqrt{\theta t + \frac{1}{\kappa}\left(\nu_0-\theta\right)\left(1-e^{-\kappa t}\right)}

Obviously the nested integration makes this algorithm more tricky than the standard ways to price plain vanilla European options but it is not limited to vanilla payoffs. The implementation of this algorithm can be found here within the QuantLib trunk on Github.

Broadie and Kaya [1] have outlined an algorithm to sample from the full probability density function p(x_t, \nu_t, t \mid x_0, \nu_0) instead of the reduced density function p(x_t, t \mid x_0, \nu_0). Starting point for this algorithm is the exact solution of the Heston stochastic differential equation

\begin{array}{rcl} x_t &=& x_o + (r_t-q_t)t - \frac{1}{2}\int_0^t \nu_s ds + \rho\int_0^t \sqrt{\nu_s} dW_s^{(1)} + \sqrt{1-\rho^2}\int_0^t \sqrt{\nu_s} dW_s^{(2)} \nonumber \\ \nu_t &=& \nu_0 + \kappa\theta t - \kappa \int_0^t \nu_s ds + \sigma \int_0^t\sqrt{\nu_s}dW_s^{(1)} \nonumber \end{array}

The probability density function of the variance process \nu_t is given by a noncentral chi-squared distribution

\nu_t = \frac{\sigma^2\left( 1-e^{-\kappa t}\right)}{4\kappa}\chi_d^{'2}\left(\frac{4\kappa e^{-\kappa t}}{\sigma^2\left(1-e^{-\kappa t}\right)}\nu_0\right), d=\frac{4\theta\kappa}{\sigma^2}

The distribution \Psi(0,t) of the integral \int_0^t \nu_s ds conditional on \nu_t and \nu_0 can be calculated via the characteristic function

\begin{array}{rcl} \text{Pr}(\Psi(t) \le x)&=& \frac{2}{\pi}\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin ux}{u}\text{Re}(\Phi(u)) du \\ \\ \Phi(a)&=& \frac{\gamma(a)e^{-\frac{1}{2}(\gamma(a)-\kappa)t} \left(1-e^{-\kappa t}\right)} {\kappa\left(1-e^{\gamma(a)t}\right)} \exp\left( \frac{\nu_t+\nu_0}{\sigma^2} \left[ \frac{\kappa\left(1+e^{-\kappa t}\right)}{1-e^{-\kappa t}} - \frac{\gamma(a)\left(1+e^{-\gamma(a)t}\right)}{1-e^{-\gamma(a)t}} \right] \right) \\ && \times \frac{I_{0.5d-1} \left( \sqrt{\nu_0\nu_t} \frac{4\gamma (a) e^{-0.5\gamma(a)t}}{\sigma^2\left(1-e^{-\gamma(a)t}\right)}\right)}{ I_{0.5d-1} \left( \sqrt{\nu_0\nu_t} \frac{4\kappa e^{-0.5\kappa t}}{\sigma^2\left(1-e^{-\kappa t}\right)}\right)} \\ && \times \frac{\exp\left((0.5d-1) \left[-\frac{1}{2}\gamma(a)t + \ln \frac{\gamma(a)}{1-e^{-\gamma(a)t}} \right]\right)}{\left(\frac{\gamma(a) e^{-0.5\gamma(a)t} }{ 1-e^{-\gamma(a)t}}\right)^{0.5d-1}} \\ \\ \gamma(a)&=&\sqrt{\kappa^2-2 i \sigma^2 a} \end{array}

The modified Bessel function of first kind I_{0.5d-1}(z) can be evaluated using series expansion for small and medium |z| or asymptotic approximation for large |z| [5]. Unfortunately Boost provides only real versions of the Bessel functions and the copyright status of older complex valued Fortran77 routine is vague. Therefore QuantLib comes with its own implementation.

Please notice that \Phi(a) is already a continuous version of the characteristic function and therefore the integration does not need to track the branches of arg(z) when calculating the complex valued Bessel function [4].

The integration over the characteristic function is best done using either Gauss-Laguerre, Gauss-Lobatto or trapezoidal rule. The two later algorithms need to truncate the integration at some upper bound. First guess for a truncation limit can be taken from the Cornish-Fisher expansion  for some very small \epsilon. The moment-generating function \Phi(a) can be used to get the first, second and third moment of the distribution via finite difference quotient.

m_n = E(X^n) = \frac{d^n}{dy^n}\Phi(x+iy)\Big|_{x=y=0}

The next term is now fairly easy to calculate

\int_0^t \sqrt{\nu_s} dW_s^{(1)} = \frac{1}{\sigma}\left( \nu_t - \nu_0 - \kappa\theta t+\kappa \int_0^t \nu_s ds \right)

The log spot process can now be sampled using a standard normal random variable Z and

\begin{array}{rcl} x_t &=& x_0 + m(t) + \sigma(t)Z \nonumber \\ \sigma^2(t) &=& (1-\rho^2)\int_0^t \nu_s ds \nonumber \\ m(t) &=& (r_t-q_t)t - \frac{1}{2}\int_0^t \nu_s ds + \rho\int_0^t \sqrt{\nu_s}dW_s^{(1)} \nonumber \end{array}

This sampling algorithm is exact even for very large time steps and therefore gives some advantages for quasi random Monte-Carlo methods but the inversion of the integration of the characteristic function is also very slow. The algorithm is implemented within the HestonProcess class.

[1] I. Clark, Foreign Exchange Option Pricing: A Practitioners Guide, p. 113

[2] A. Dragulescu, V. Yakovenko, Probability distribution of returns in the Heston model with stochastic volatility

[3] M. Broadie, Ö. Kaya, Exact Simulation of Stochastic Volatility and other Affine Jump Diffusion Processes

[4] R. Lord, Efficient pricing algorithms for exotic derivatives, p. 40

[5] J.R. Culham, Bessel Functions of the First and Second Kind