Martingale Exit from an Interval – I

Let \(\tau\) be the first time that a continuous martingale \(M_t\) starting from \(x\) exits the interval \((a,b)\), with \(a<x<b\). In all of the following, we assume that \(\mathbf P(\tau < \infty)=1\). Let \(p=\mathbf P_x\{M(\tau)=a\}\).

Find and analytic expression for \(p\) :

  1. For this part assume that \(M_t\) is the solution to a time homogeneous SDE. That is that \[dM_t=\sigma(M_t)dB_t.\] (with \(\sigma\) bounded and smooth.) What PDE should you solve to find \(p\) ? with what boundary data ? Assume for a moment that \(M_t\) is standard Brownian Motion (\(\sigma=1\)). Solve the PDE you mentioned above in this case.
  2. A probabilistic way of thinking: Return to a general martingale \(M_t\). Let us assume that \(dM_t=\sigma(t,\omega)dB_t\) again with \(\sigma\) smooth and uniformly bounded  from above and away from zero. Assume that \(\tau < \infty\) almost surely and notice that \[\mathbf E_x M(\tau)=a \mathbf P_x\{M_\tau=a\} + b \mathbf P_x\{M_\tau=b.\}\] Of course the process has to exit through one side or the other, so \[\mathbf P_x\{M_\tau=a\} = 1 – \mathbf P_x\{M_\tau=b\}\]. Use all of these facts and the Optimal Stopping Theorem to derive the equation for \(p\).
  3. Return to the case when \[dM_t=\sigma(M_t)dB_t\]. (with \(\sigma\) bounded and smooth.) Write down the equations that \(v(x)= \mathbf E_x\{\tau\}\), \(w(x,t)=\mathbf P_x\{ \tau >t\}\), and \(u(x)=\mathbf E_x\{e^{-\lambda\tau}\}\) with \(\lambda > 0\) satisfy. ( For extra credit: Solve them for \(M_t=B_t\) in this one dimensional setting and see what happens as \(b \rightarrow \infty\).)

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