Almost Sure

8 February 19

Dual Projections

The optional and predictable projections of stochastic processes have corresponding dual projections, which are the subject of this post. I will be concerned with their initial construction here, and show that they are well-defined. The study of their properties will be left until later. In the discrete time setting, the dual projections are relatively straightforward, and can be constructed by applying the optional and predictable projection to the increments of the process. In continuous time, we no longer have discrete time increments along which we can define the dual projections. In some sense, they can still be thought of as projections of the infinitesimal increments so that, for a process A, the increments of the dual projections {A^{\rm o}} and {A^{\rm p}} are determined from the increments {dA} of A as

\displaystyle  \setlength\arraycolsep{2pt} \begin{array}{rl} &\displaystyle dA^{\rm o}={}^{\rm o}(dA),\smallskip\\ &\displaystyle dA^{\rm p}={}^{\rm p}(dA). \end{array} (1)

Unfortunately, these expressions are difficult to make sense of in general. In specific cases, (1) can be interpreted in a simple way. For example, when A is differentiable with derivative {\xi}, so that {dA=\xi dt}, then the dual projections are given by {dA^{\rm o}={}^{\rm o}\xi dt} and {dA^{\rm p}={}^{\rm p}\xi dt}. More generally, if A is right-continuous with finite variation, then the infinitesimal increments {dA} can be interpreted in terms of Lebesgue-Stieltjes integrals. However, as the optional and predictable projections are defined for real valued processes, and {dA} is viewed as a stochastic measure, the right-hand-side of (1) is still problematic. This can be rectified by multiplying by an arbitrary process {\xi}, and making use of the transitivity property {{\mathbb E}[\xi\,{}^{\rm o}(dA)]={\mathbb E}[({}^{\rm o}\xi)dA]}. Integrating over time gives the more meaningful expressions

\displaystyle  \setlength\arraycolsep{2pt} \begin{array}{rl} &\displaystyle {\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^\infty \xi\,dA^{\rm o}\right]={\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^\infty{}^{\rm o}\xi\,dA\right],\smallskip\\ &\displaystyle{\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^\infty \xi\,dA^{\rm p}\right]={\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^\infty{}^{\rm p}\xi\,dA\right]. \end{array}

In contrast to (1), these equalities can be used to give mathematically rigorous definitions of the dual projections. As usual, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal F,\{\mathcal F_t\}_{t\ge0},{\mathbb P})}, and processes are identified whenever they are equal up to evanescence. The terminology `raw IV process‘ will be used to refer to any right-continuous integrable process whose variation on the whole of {{\mathbb R}^+} has finite expectation. The use of the word `raw’ here is just to signify that we are not requiring the process to be adapted. Next, to simplify the expressions, I will use the notation {\xi\cdot A} for the integral of a process {\xi} with respect to another process A,

\displaystyle  \xi\cdot A_t\equiv\xi_0A_0+\int_0^t\xi\,dA.

Note that, whereas the integral {\int_0^t\xi\,dA} is implicitly taken over the range {(0,t]} and does not involve the time-zero value of {\xi}, I have included the time-zero values of the processes in the definition of {\xi\cdot A}. This is not essential, and could be excluded, so long as we were to restrict to processes starting from zero. The existence and uniqueness (up to evanescence) of the dual projections is given by the following result.

Theorem 1 (Dual Projections) Let A be a raw IV process. Then,

  • There exists a unique raw IV process {A^{\rm o}} satisfying
    \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}\left[\xi\cdot A^{\rm o}_\infty\right]={\mathbb E}\left[{}^{\rm o}\xi\cdot A_\infty\right] (2)

    for all bounded measurable processes {\xi}. We refer to {A^{\rm o}} as the dual optional projection of A.

  • There exists a unique raw IV process {A^{\rm p}} satisfying
    \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}\left[\xi\cdot A^{\rm p}_\infty\right]={\mathbb E}\left[{}^{\rm p}\xi\cdot A_\infty\right] (3)

    for all bounded measurable processes {\xi}. We refer to {A^{\rm p}} as the dual predictable projection of A.

Furthermore, if A is nonnegative and increasing then so are {A^{\rm o}} and {A^{\rm p}}.

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20 January 19

Properties of Optional and Predictable Projections

Having defined optional and predictable projections in an earlier post, I now look at their basic properties. The first nontrivial property is that they are well-defined in the first place. Recall that existence of the projections made use of the existence of cadlag modifications of martingales, and uniqueness relied on the section theorems. By contrast, once we accept that optional and predictable projections are well-defined, everything in this post follows easily. Nothing here requires any further advanced results of stochastic process theory.

Optional and predictable projections are similar in nature to conditional expectations. Given a probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal F,{\mathbb P})} and a sub-sigma-algebra {\mathcal G\subseteq\mathcal F}, the conditional expectation of an ({\mathcal F}-measurable) random variable X is a {\mathcal G}-measurable random variable {Y={\mathbb E}[X\,\vert\mathcal G]}. This is defined whenever the integrability condition {{\mathbb E}[\lvert X\rvert\,\vert\mathcal G] < \infty} (a.s.) is satisfied, only depends on X up to almost-sure equivalence, and Y is defined up to almost-sure equivalence. That is, a random variable {X^\prime} almost surely equal to X has the same conditional expectation as X. Similarly, a random variable {Y^\prime} almost-surely equal to Y is also a version of the conditional expectation {{\mathbb E}[X\,\vert\mathcal G]}.

The setup with projections of stochastic processes is similar. We start with a filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal F,\{\mathcal F_t\}_{t\ge0},{\mathbb P})}, and a (real-valued) stochastic process is a map

\displaystyle  \setlength\arraycolsep{2pt} \begin{array}{rl} &\displaystyle X\colon{\mathbb R}^+\times\Omega\rightarrow{\mathbb R},\smallskip\\ &\displaystyle (t,\omega)\mapsto X_t(\omega) \end{array}

which we assume to be jointly-measurable. That is, it is measurable with respect to the Borel sigma-algebra {\mathcal B({\mathbb R})} on the image, and the product sigma-algebra {\mathcal B({\mathbb R})\otimes\mathcal F} on the domain. The optional and predictable sigma-algebras are contained in the product,

\displaystyle  \mathcal P\subseteq\mathcal O\subseteq \mathcal B({\mathbb R})\otimes\mathcal F.

We do not have a reference measure on {({\mathbb R}^+\times\Omega,\mathcal B({\mathbb R})\otimes\mathcal F)} in order to define conditional expectations with respect to {\mathcal O} and {\mathcal P}. However, the optional projection {{}^{\rm o}\!X} and predictable projection {{}^{\rm p}\!X} play similar roles. Assuming that the necessary integrability properties are satisfied, then the projections exist. Furthermore, the projection only depends on the process X up to evanescence (i.e., up to a zero probability set), and {{}^{\rm o}\!X} and {{}^{\rm p}\!X} are uniquely defined up to evanescence.

In what follows, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space. Processes are always only considered up to evanescence, so statements involving equalities, inequalities, and limits of processes are only required to hold outside of a zero probability set. When we say that the optional projection of a process exists, we mean that the integrability condition in the definition of the projection is satisfied. Specifically, that {{\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}\lvert X_\tau\rvert\,\vert\mathcal F_\tau]} is almost surely finite. Similarly for the predictable projection.

The following lemma gives a list of initial properties of the optional projection. Other than the statement involving stopping times, they all correspond to properties of conditional expectations.

Lemma 1

  1. X is optional if and only if {{}^{\rm o}\!X} exists and is equal to X.
  2. If the optional projection of X exists then,
    \displaystyle  {}^{\rm o}({}^{\rm o}\!X)={}^{\rm o}\!X. (1)
  3. If the optional projections of X and Y exist, and {\lambda,\mu} are {\mathcal{F}_0}-measurable random variables, then,
    \displaystyle  {}^{\rm o}(\lambda X+\mu Y) = \lambda\,^{\rm o}\!X + \mu\,^{\rm o}Y. (2)
  4. If the optional projection of X exists and U is an optional process then,
    \displaystyle  {}^{\rm o}(UX) = U\,^{\rm o}\!X (3)
  5. If the optional projection of X exists and {\tau} is a stopping time then, the optional projection of the stopped process {X^\tau} exists and,
    \displaystyle  1_{[0,\tau]}{}^{\rm o}(X^\tau)=1_{[0,\tau]}{}^{\rm o}\!X. (4)
  6. If {X\le Y} and the optional projections of X and Y exist then, {{}^{\rm o}\!X\le{}^{\rm o}Y}.

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23 December 18

Projection in Discrete Time

It has been some time since my last post, but I am continuing now with the stochastic calculus notes on optional and predictable projection. In this post, I will go through the ideas in the discrete-time situation. All of the main concepts involved in optional and predictable projection are still present in discrete time, but the theory is much simpler. It is only really in continuous time that the projection theorems really show their power, so the aim of this post is to motivate the concepts in a simple setting before generalising to the full, continuous-time situation. Ideally, this would have been published before the posts on optional and predictable projection in continuous time, so it is a bit out of sequence.

We consider time running through the discrete index set {{\mathbb Z}^+=\{0,1,2,\ldots\}}, and work with respect to a filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},\{\mathcal{F}_n\}_{n=0,1,\ldots},{\mathbb P})}. Then, {\mathcal{F}_n} is used to represent the collection of events observable up to and including time n. Stochastic processes will all be real-valued and defined up to almost-sure equivalence. That is, processes X and Y are considered to be the same if {X_n=Y_n} almost surely for each {n\in{\mathbb Z}^+}. The projections of a process X are defined as follows.

Definition 1 Let X be a measurable process. Then,

  1. the optional projection, {{}^{\rm o}\!X}, exists if and only if {{\mathbb E}[\lvert X_n\rvert\,\vert\mathcal{F}_n]} is almost surely finite for each n, in which case
    \displaystyle  {}^{\rm o}\!X_n={\mathbb E}[X_n\,\vert\mathcal{F}_n]. (1)
  2. the predictable projection, {{}^{\rm p}\!X}, exists if and only if {{\mathbb E}[\lvert X_n\rvert\,\vert\mathcal{F}_{n-1}]} is almost surely finite for each n, in which case
    \displaystyle  {}^{\rm p}\!X_n={\mathbb E}[X_n\,\vert\mathcal{F}_{n-1}]. (2)

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6 March 17

The Projection Theorems

In this post, I introduce the concept of optional and predictable projections of jointly measurable processes. Optional projections of right-continuous processes and predictable projections of left-continuous processes were constructed in earlier posts, with the respective continuity conditions used to define the projection. These are, however, just special cases of the general theory. For arbitrary measurable processes, the projections cannot be expected to satisfy any such pathwise regularity conditions. Instead, we use the measurability criteria that the projections should be, respectively, optional and predictable.

The projection theorems are a relatively straightforward consequence of optional and predictable section. However, due to the difficulty of proving the section theorems, optional and predictable projection is generally considered to be an advanced or hard part of stochastic calculus. Here, I will make use of the section theorems as stated in an earlier post, but leave the proof of those until after developing the theory of projection.

As usual, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},\{\mathcal{F}\}_{t\ge0},{\mathbb P})}, and only consider real-valued processes. Any two processes are considered to be the same if they are equal up to evanescence. The optional projection is then defined (up to evanescence) by the following.

Theorem 1 (Optional Projection) Let X be a measurable process such that {{\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}\lvert X_\tau\rvert\;\vert\mathcal{F}_\tau]} is almost surely finite for each stopping time {\tau}. Then, there exists a unique optional process {{}^{\rm o}\!X}, referred to as the optional projection of X, satisfying

\displaystyle  1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}{}^{\rm o}\!X_\tau={\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}X_\tau\,\vert\mathcal{F}_\tau] (1)

almost surely, for each stopping time {\tau}.

Predictable projection is defined similarly.

Theorem 2 (Predictable Projection) Let X be a measurable process such that {{\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}\lvert X_\tau\rvert\;\vert\mathcal{F}_{\tau-}]} is almost surely finite for each predictable stopping time {\tau}. Then, there exists a unique predictable process {{}^{\rm p}\!X}, referred to as the predictable projection of X, satisfying

\displaystyle  1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}{}^{\rm p}\!X_\tau={\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}X_\tau\,\vert\mathcal{F}_{\tau-}] (2)

almost surely, for each predictable stopping time {\tau}.

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29 November 16

The Section Theorems

Consider a probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},{\mathbb P})} and a subset S of {{\mathbb R}_+\times\Omega}. The projection {\pi_\Omega(S)} is the set of {\omega\in\Omega} such that there exists a {t\in{\mathbb R}_+} with {(t,\omega)\in S}. We can ask whether there exists a map

\displaystyle  \tau\colon\pi_\Omega(S)\rightarrow{\mathbb R}_+

such that {(\tau(\omega),\omega)\in S}. From the definition of the projection, values of {\tau(\omega)} satisfying this exist for each individual {\omega}. By invoking the axiom of choice, then, we see that functions {\tau} with the required property do exist. However, to be of use for probability theory, it is important that {\tau} should be measurable. Whether or not there are measurable functions with the required properties is a much more difficult problem, and is answered affirmatively by the measurable selection theorem. For the question to have any hope of having a positive answer, we require S to be measurable, so that it lies in the product sigma-algebra {\mathcal{B}({\mathbb R}_+)\otimes\mathcal{F}}, with {\mathcal{B}({\mathbb R}_+)} denoting the Borel sigma-algebra on {{\mathbb R}_+}. Also, less obviously, the underlying probability space should be complete. Throughout this post, {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},{\mathbb P})} will be assumed to be a complete probability space.

It is convenient to extend {\tau} to the whole of {\Omega} by setting {\tau(\omega)=\infty} for {\omega} outside of {\pi_\Omega(S)}. Then, {\tau} is a map to the extended nonnegative reals {\bar{\mathbb R}_+={\mathbb R}_+\cup\{\infty\}} for which {\tau(\omega) < \infty} precisely when {\omega} is in {\pi_\Omega(S)}. Next, the graph of {\tau}, denoted by {[\tau]}, is defined to be the set of {(t,\omega)\in{\mathbb R}_+\times\Omega} with {t=\tau(\omega)}. The property that {(\tau(\omega),\omega)\in S} whenever {\tau(\omega) < \infty} is expressed succinctly by the inclusion {[\tau]\subseteq S}. With this notation, the measurable selection theorem is as follows.

Theorem 1 (Measurable Selection) For any {S\in\mathcal{B}({\mathbb R}_+)\otimes\mathcal{F}}, there exists a measurable {\tau\colon\Omega\rightarrow\bar{\mathbb R}_+} such that {[\tau]\subseteq S} and

\displaystyle  \left\{\tau < \infty\right\}=\pi_\Omega(S). (1)

As noted above, if it wasn’t for the measurability requirement then this theorem would just be a simple application of the axiom of choice. Requiring {\tau} to be measurable, on the other hand, makes the theorem much more difficult to prove. For instance, it would not hold if the underlying probability space was not required to be complete. Note also that, stated as above, measurable selection implies that the projection of S is equal to a measurable set {\{\tau < \infty\}}, so the measurable projection theorem is an immediate corollary. I will leave the proof of Theorem 1 for a later post, together with the proofs of the section theorems stated below.

A closely related problem is the following. Given a measurable space {(X,\mathcal{E})} and a measurable function, {f\colon X\rightarrow\Omega}, does there exist a measurable right-inverse on the image of {f}? This is asking for a measurable function, {g}, from {f(X)} to {X} such that {f(g(\omega))=\omega}. In the case where {(X,\mathcal{E})} is the Borel space {({\mathbb R}_+,\mathcal{B}({\mathbb R}_+))}, Theorem 1 says that it does exist. If S is the graph {\{(t,f(t))\colon t\in{\mathbb R}_+\}} then {\tau} will be the required right-inverse. In fact, as all uncountable Polish spaces are Borel-isomorphic to each other and, hence, to {{\mathbb R}_+}, this result applies whenever {(X,\mathcal{E})} is a Polish space together with its Borel sigma-algebra. (more…)

22 November 16

Predictable Processes

In contrast to optional processes, the class of predictable processes was used extensively in the development of stochastic integration in these notes. They appeared as integrands in stochastic integrals then, later on, as compensators and in the Doob-Meyer decomposition. Since they are also central to the theory of predictable section and projection, I will revisit the basic properties of predictable processes now. In particular, any of the collections of sets and processes in the following theorem can equivalently be used to define the predictable sigma-algebra. As usual, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},\{\mathcal{F}_t\}_{t\in{\mathbb R}_+},{\mathbb P})}. However, completeness is not actually required for the following result. All processes are assumed to be real valued, or take values in the extended reals {\bar{\mathbb R}={\mathbb R}\cup\{\pm\infty\}}.

Theorem 1 The following collections of sets and processes each generate the same sigma-algebra on {{\mathbb R}_+\times\Omega}.

{{[\tau,\infty)}: {\tau} is a predictable stopping time}.

  • {Z1_{[\tau,\infty)}} as {\tau} ranges over the predictable stopping times and Z over the {\mathcal{F}_{\tau-}}-measurable random variables.
  • {\{A\times(t,\infty)\colon t\in{\mathbb R}_+,A\in\mathcal{F}_t\}\cup\{A\times\{0\}\colon A\in\mathcal{F}_0\}}.
  • The elementary predictable processes.
  • {{(\tau,\infty)}: {\tau} is a stopping time}{\cup}{{A\times\{0\}\colon A\in\mathcal{F}_0}}.

  • The left-continuous adapted processes.
  • The continuous adapted processes.
  • Compare this with the analogous result for sets/processes generating the optional sigma-algebra given in the previous post. The proof of Theorem 1 is given further below. First, recall that the predictable sigma-algebra was previously defined to be generated by the left-continuous adapted processes. However, it can equivalently be defined by any of the collections stated in Theorem 1. To make this clear, I now restate the definition making use if this equivalence.

    Definition 2 The predictable sigma-algebra, {\mathcal{P}}, is the sigma-algebra on {{\mathbb R}_+\times\Omega} generated by any of the collections of sets/processes in Theorem 1.

    A stochastic process is predictable iff it is {\mathcal{P}}-measurable.

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    25 July 16

    Constructing Martingales with Prescribed Jumps

    In this post we will describe precisely which processes can be realized as the jumps of a local martingale. This leads to very useful decomposition results for processes — see Theorem 10 below, where we give a decomposition of a process X into martingale and predictable components. As I will explore further in future posts, this enables us to construct particularly useful decompositions for local martingales and semimartingales.

    Before going any further, we start by defining the class of local martingales which will be used to match prescribed jump processes. The purely discontinuous local martingales are, in a sense, the orthogonal complement to the class of continuous local martingales.

    Definition 1 A local martingale X is said to be purely discontinuous iff XM is a local martingale for all continuous local martingales M.

    The class of purely discontinuous local martingales is often denoted as {\mathcal{M}_{\rm loc}^{\rm d}}. Clearly, any linear combination of purely discontinuous local martingales is purely discontinuous. I will investigate {\mathcal{M}_{\rm loc}^{\rm d}} in more detail later but, in order that we do have plenty of examples of such processes, we show that all FV local martingales are purely discontinuous.

    Lemma 2 Every FV local martingale is purely discontinuous.

    Proof: If X is an FV local martingale and M is a continuous local martingale then we can compute the quadratic covariation,

    \displaystyle  [X,M]_t=\sum_{s\le t}\Delta X_s\Delta M_s=0.

    The first equality follows because X is an FV process, and the second because M is continuous. So, {XM=XM-[X,M]} is a local martingale and X is purely discontinuous. ⬜

    Next, an important property of purely discontinuous local martingales is that they are determined uniquely by their jumps. Throughout these notes, I am considering two processes to be equal whenever they are equal up to evanescence.

    Lemma 3 Purely discontinuous local martingales are uniquely determined by their initial value and jumps. That is, if X and Y are purely discontinuous local martingales with {X_0=Y_0} and {\Delta X = \Delta Y}, then {X=Y}.

    Proof: Setting {M=X-Y} we have {M_0=0} and {\Delta M = 0}. So, M is a continuous local martingale and {M^2= MX-MY} is a local martingale starting from zero. Hence, it is a supermartingale and we have

    \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}[M_t^2]\le{\mathbb E}[M_0^2]=0.

    So {M_t=0} almost surely and, by right-continuity, {M=0} up to evanescence. ⬜

    Note that if X is a continuous local martingale, then the constant process {Y_t=X_0} has the same initial value and jumps as X. So Lemma 3 has the immediate corollary.

    Corollary 4 Any local martingale which is both continuous and purely discontinuous is almost surely constant.

    Recalling that the jump process, {\Delta X}, of a cadlag adapted process X is thin, we now state the main theorem of this post and describe precisely those processes which occur as the jumps of a local martingale.

    Theorem 5 Let H be a thin process. Then, {H=\Delta X} for a local martingale X if and only if

    1. {\sqrt{\sum_{s\le t}H_s^2}} is locally integrable.
    2. {{\mathbb E}[1_{\{\tau < \infty\}}H_\tau\;\vert\mathcal{F}_{\tau-}]=0} (a.s.) for all predictable stopping times {\tau}.

    Furthermore, X can be chosen to be purely discontinuous with {X_0=0}, in which case it is unique.

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    18 July 16

    The Doob-Meyer Decomposition for Quasimartingales

    As previously discussed, for discrete-time processes the Doob decomposition is a simple, but very useful, technique which allows us to decompose any integrable process into the sum of a martingale and a predictable process. If {\{X_n\}_{n=0,1,2,\ldots}} is an integrable discrete-time process adapted to a filtration {\{\mathcal{F}_n\}_{n=0,1,2,\ldots}}, then the Doob decomposition expresses X as

    \displaystyle  \setlength\arraycolsep{2pt} \begin{array}{rl} \displaystyle X_n&\displaystyle=M_n+A_n,\smallskip\\ \displaystyle A_n&\displaystyle=\sum_{k=1}^n{\mathbb E}\left[X_k-X_{k-1}\;\vert\mathcal{F}_{k-1}\right]. \end{array} (1)

    Then, M is then a martingale and A is an integrable process which is also predictable, in the sense that {A_n} is {\mathcal{F}_{n-1}}-measurable for each {n > 0}. The expected value of the variation of A can be computed in terms of X,

    \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}\left[\sum_{k=1}^n\lvert A_k-A_{k-1}\rvert\right] ={\mathbb E}\left[\sum_{k=1}^n\left\lvert {\mathbb E}[X_k-X_{k-1}\vert\;\mathcal{F}_{k-1}]\right\rvert\right].

    This is the mean variation of X.

    In continuous time, the situation is rather more complex, and will require constraints on the process X other than just integrability. We have already discussed the case for submartingales — the Doob-Meyer decomposition. This decomposes a submartingale into a local martingale and a predictable increasing process.

    A natural setting for further generalising the Doob-Meyer decomposition is that of quasimartingales. In continuous time, the appropriate class of processes to use for the component A of the decomposition is the predictable FV processes. Decomposition (2) below is the same as that in the previous post on special semimartingales. This is not surprising, as we have already seen that the class of special semimartingales is identical to the class of local quasimartingales. The difference with the current setting is that we can express the expected variation of A in terms of the mean variation of X, and obtain a necessary and sufficient condition for the local martingale component to be a proper martingale.

    As was noted in an earlier post, historically, decomposition (2) for quasimartingales played an important part in the development of stochastic calculus and, in particular, in the proof of the Bichteler-Dellacherie theorem. That is not the case in these notes, however, as we have already proven the main results without requiring quasimartingales. As always, any two processes are identified whenever they are equivalent up to evanescence.

    Theorem 1 Every cadlag quasimartingale X uniquely decomposes as

    \displaystyle  X=M+A (2)

    where M is a local martingale and A is a predictable FV process with {A_0=0}. Then, A has integrable variation over each finite time interval {[0,t]} satisfying

    \displaystyle  {\rm Var}_t(X)={\rm Var}_t(M)+{\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^t\,\vert dA\vert\right]. (3)

    so that, in particular,

    \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}\left[\int_0^t\,\vert dA\vert\right]\le{\rm Var}_t(X). (4)

    Furthermore, the following are equivalent,

    1. X is of class (DL).
    2. M is a proper martingale.
    3. inequality (4) is an equality for all times t.

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    30 December 11

    The Doob-Meyer Decomposition

    The Doob-Meyer decomposition was a very important result, historically, in the development of stochastic calculus. This theorem states that every cadlag submartingale uniquely decomposes as the sum of a local martingale and an increasing predictable process. For one thing, if X is a square-integrable martingale then Jensen’s inequality implies that {X^2} is a submartingale, so the Doob-Meyer decomposition guarantees the existence of an increasing predictable process {\langle X\rangle} such that {X^2-\langle X\rangle} is a local martingale. The term {\langle X\rangle} is called the predictable quadratic variation of X and, by using a version of the Ito isometry, can be used to define stochastic integration with respect to square-integrable martingales. For another, semimartingales were historically defined as sums of local martingales and finite variation processes, so the Doob-Meyer decomposition ensures that all local submartingales are also semimartingales. Going further, the Doob-Meyer decomposition is used as an important ingredient in many proofs of the Bichteler-Dellacherie theorem.

    The approach taken in these notes is somewhat different from the historical development, however. We introduced stochastic integration and semimartingales early on, without requiring much prior knowledge of the general theory of stochastic processes. We have also developed the theory of semimartingales, such as proving the Bichteler-Dellacherie theorem, using a stochastic integration based method. So, the Doob-Meyer decomposition does not play such a pivotal role in these notes as in some other approaches to stochastic calculus. In fact, the special semimartingale decomposition already states a form of the Doob-Meyer decomposition in a more general setting. So, the main part of the proof given in this post will be to show that all local submartingales are semimartingales, allowing the decomposition for special semimartingales to be applied.

    The Doob-Meyer decomposition is especially easy to understand in discrete time, where it reduces to the much simpler Doob decomposition. If {\{X_n\}_{n=0,1,2,\ldots}} is an integrable discrete-time process adapted to a filtration {\{\mathcal{F}_n\}_{n=0,1,2,\ldots}}, then the Doob decomposition expresses X as

    \displaystyle  \setlength\arraycolsep{2pt} \begin{array}{rl} \displaystyle X_n&\displaystyle=M_n+A_n,\smallskip\\ \displaystyle A_n&\displaystyle=\sum_{k=1}^n{\mathbb E}\left[X_k-X_{k-1}\;\vert\mathcal{F}_{k-1}\right]. \end{array} (1)

    As previously discussed, M is then a martingale and A is an integrable process which is also predictable, in the sense that {A_n} is {\mathcal{F}_{n-1}}-measurable for each {n > 0}. Furthermore, X is a submartingale if and only if {{\mathbb E}[X_n-X_{n-1}\vert\mathcal{F}_{n-1}]\ge0} or, equivalently, if A is almost surely increasing.

    Moving to continuous time, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},\{\mathcal{F}_t\}_{t\ge0},{\mathbb P})} with time index t ranging over the nonnegative real numbers. Then, the continuous-time version of (1) takes A to be a right-continuous and increasing process which is predictable, in the sense that it is measurable with respect to the σ-algebra generated by the class of left-continuous and adapted processes. Often, the Doob-Meyer decomposition is stated under additional assumptions, such as X being of class (D) or satisfying some similar uniform integrability property. To be as general possible, the statement I give here only requires X to be a local submartingale, and furthermore states how the decomposition is affected by various stronger hypotheses that X may satisfy.

    Theorem 1 (Doob-Meyer) Any local submartingale X has a unique decomposition

    \displaystyle  X=M+A, (2)

    where M is a local martingale and A is a predictable increasing process starting from zero.

    Furthermore,

    1. if X is a proper submartingale, then A is integrable and satisfies
      \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}[A_\tau]\le{\mathbb E}[X_\tau-X_0] (3)

      for all uniformly bounded stopping times {\tau}.

    2. X is of class (DL) if and only if M is a proper martingale and A is integrable, in which case
      \displaystyle  {\mathbb E}[A_\tau]={\mathbb E}[X_\tau-X_0] (4)

      for all uniformly bounded stopping times {\tau}.

    3. X is of class (D) if and only if M is a uniformly integrable martingale and {A_\infty} is integrable. Then, {X_\infty=\lim_{t\rightarrow\infty}X_t} and {M_\infty=\lim_{t\rightarrow\infty}M_t} exist almost surely, and (4) holds for all (not necessarily finite) stopping times {\tau}.

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    27 December 11

    Compensators of Counting Processes

    A counting process, X, is defined to be an adapted stochastic process starting from zero which is piecewise constant and right-continuous with jumps of size 1. That is, letting {\tau_n} be the first time at which {X_t=n}, then

    \displaystyle  X_t=\sum_{n=1}^\infty 1_{\{\tau_n\le t\}}.

    By the debut theorem, {\tau_n} are stopping times. So, X is an increasing integer valued process counting the arrivals of the stopping times {\tau_n}. A basic example of a counting process is the Poisson process, for which {X_t-X_s} has a Poisson distribution independently of {\mathcal{F}_s}, for all times {t > s}, and for which the gaps {\tau_n-\tau_{n-1}} between the stopping times are independent exponentially distributed random variables. As we will see, although Poisson processes are just one specific example, every quasi-left-continuous counting process can actually be reduced to the case of a Poisson process by a time change. As always, we work with respect to a complete filtered probability space {(\Omega,\mathcal{F},\{\mathcal{F}_t\}_{t\ge0},{\mathbb P})}.

    Note that, as a counting process X has jumps bounded by 1, it is locally integrable and, hence, the compensator A of X exists. This is the unique right-continuous predictable and increasing process with {A_0=0} such that {X-A} is a local martingale. For example, if X is a Poisson process of rate {\lambda}, then the compensated Poisson process {X_t-\lambda t} is a martingale. So, the compensator of X is the continuous process {A_t=\lambda t}. More generally, X is said to be quasi-left-continuous if {{\mathbb P}(\Delta X_\tau=0)=1} for all predictable stopping times {\tau}, which is equivalent to the compensator of X being almost surely continuous. Another simple example of a counting process is {X=1_{[\tau,\infty)}} for a stopping time {\tau > 0}, in which case the compensator of X is just the same thing as the compensator of {\tau}.

    As I will show in this post, compensators of quasi-left-continuous counting processes have many parallels with the quadratic variation of continuous local martingales. For example, Lévy’s characterization states that a local martingale X starting from zero is standard Brownian motion if and only if its quadratic variation is {[X]_t=t}. Similarly, as we show below, a counting process is a homogeneous Poisson process of rate {\lambda} if and only if its compensator is {A_t=\lambda t}. It was also shown previously in these notes that a continuous local martingale X has a finite limit {X_\infty=\lim_{t\rightarrow\infty}X_t} if and only if {[X]_\infty} is finite. Similarly, a counting process X has finite value {X_\infty} at infinity if and only if the same is true of its compensator. Another property of a continuous local martingale X is that it is constant over all intervals on which its quadratic variation is constant. Similarly, a counting process X is constant over any interval on which its compensator is constant. Finally, it is known that every continuous local martingale is simply a continuous time change of standard Brownian motion. In the main result of this post (Theorem 5), we show that a similar statement holds for counting processes. That is, every quasi-left-continuous counting process is a continuous time change of a Poisson process of rate 1. (more…)

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