Journal of Computational Finance

Exact simulation pricing with Gamma processes and their extensions

Lancelot F. James, Dohyun Kim and Zhiyuan Zhang


Exact path simulation of the underlying state variable is of great practical importance in simulating prices of financial derivatives or their sensitivities when there are no analytical solutions for their pricing formulas. However, in general, the complex dependence structure inherent in most nontrivial stochastic volatility (SV) models makes exact simulation difficult. In this paper, we present a nontrivial SV model that parallels the notable Heston SV model in the sense of admitting exact path simulation as studied by Broadie and Kaya. The instantaneous volatility process of the proposed model is driven by a Gamma process. Extensions to the model including superposition of independent instantaneous volatility processes are studied. Numerical results show that the proposed model outperforms the Heston model and two other Lévy driven SV models in terms of model fit to the real option data. The ability to exactly simulate some of the path-dependent derivative prices is emphasized. Moreover, this is the first instance where an infinite activity volatility process can be applied exactly in such pricing contexts.