Bao Quoc Ta: "Excessive functions, Appell polynomials and optimal stopping"

May 08, 2014 Andreas Lundell

The main topic of the thesis is optimal stopping. This is treated in two research articles. In the first article we introduce a new approach to optimal stopping of general strong Markov processes. The approach is based on the representation of excessive functions as expected suprema. We present a variety of examples, in particular, the Novikov-Shiryaev problem for Lévy processes. In the second article on optimal stopping we focus on differentiability of excessive functions of diffusions and apply these results to study the validity of the principle of smooth fit.

As an example we discuss optimal stopping of sticky Brownian motion. The third research article offers a survey like discussion on Appell polynomials. The crucial role of Appell polynomials in optimal stopping of Lévy processes was noticed by Novikov and Shiryaev. They described the optimal rule in a large class of problems via these polynomials. We exploit the probabilistic approach to Appell polynomials and show that many classical results are obtained with ease in this framework. In the fourth article we derive a new relationship between the generalized Bernoulli polynomials and the generalized Euler polynomials.

The thesis can be downloaded here.