The evaluation of European compound option prices under stochastic volatility using Fourier transform techniques

Publisher:
Springer
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Review of Derivatives Research, 2013, 16 (2), pp. 135 - 165
Issue Date:
2013-01
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Compound options are not only sensitive to future movements of the underlying asset price, but also to future changes in volatility levels. Because the BlackScholes analytical valuation formula for compound options is not able to incorporate the sensitivity to volatility, the aim of this paper is to develop a numerical pricing procedure for this type of option in stochastic volatility models, specifically focusing on the model of Heston. For this, the compound option value is represented as the difference of its exercise probabilities, which depend on three random variables through a complex functional form. Then the joint distribution of these random variables is uniquely determined by their characteristic function and therefore the probabilities can each be expressed as a multiple inverse Fourier transform. Solving the inverse Fourier transform with respect to volatility, we can reduce the pricing problem from three to two dimensions. This reduced dimensionality simplifies the application of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) method developed by Dempster and Hong when transferred to our stochastic volatility framework. After combining their approach with a new extension of the fractional FFT technique for option pricing to the two-dimensional case, it is possible to obtain good approximations to the exercise probabilities. The resulting upper and lower bounds are then compared with other numerical methods such as Monte Carlo simulations and show promising results.
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