Option pricing with fractional brownian motion

Thesis Type: Post Graduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011

Thesis Language: English

Student: Alper İnkaya



Traditional financial modeling is based on semimartingale processes with stationary and independent increments. However, empirical investigations on financial data does not always support these assumptions. This contradiction showed that there is a need for new stochastic models. Fractional Brownian motion (fBm) was proposed as one of these models by Benoit Mandelbrot. FBm is the only continuous Gaussian process with dependent increments. Correlation between increments of a fBm changes according to its self-similarity parameter H. This property of fBm helps to capture the correlation dynamics of the data and consequently obtain better forecast results. But for values of H different than 1/2, fBm is not a semimartingale and classical Ito formula does not exist in that case. This gives rise to need for using the white noise theory to construct integrals with respect to fBm and obtain fractional Ito formulas. In this thesis, the representation of fBm and its fundamental properties are examined. Construction of Wick-Ito-Skorohod (WIS) and fractional WIS integrals are investigated. An Ito type formula and Girsanov type theorems are stated. The financial applications of fBm are mentioned and the Black&Scholes price of a European call option on an asset which is assumed to follow a geometric fBm is derived. The statistical aspects of fBm are investigated. Estimators for the self-similarity parameter H and simulation methods of fBm are summarized. Using the R/S methodology of Hurst, the estimations of the parameter H are obtained and these values are used to evaluate the fractional Black&Scholes prices of a European call option with different maturities. Afterwards, these values are compared to Black&Scholes price of the same option to demonstrate the effect of long-range dependence on the option prices. Also, estimations of H at different time scales are obtained to investigate the multiscaling in financial data. An outlook of the future work is given.