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From optimal martingales to randomized dual optimal stopping

Denis Belomestny and John Schoenmakers

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Abstract: In this article we study and classify optimal martingales in the dual formulation of optimal stopping problems. In this respect we distinguish between weakly optimal and surely optimal martingales. It is shown that the family of weakly optimal and surely optimal martingales may be quite large. On the other hand it is shown that the Doob-martingale, that is, the martingale part of the Snell envelope, is in a certain sense the most robust surely optimal martingale under random perturbations. This new insight leads to a novel randomized dual martingale minimization algorithm that doesn't require nested simulation. As a main feature, in a possibly large family of optimal martingales the algorithm efficiently selects a martingale that is as close as possible to the Doob martingale. As a result, one obtains the dual upper bound for the optimal stopping problem with low variance.

Date: 2021-02
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