A new method for the numerical pricing of American options

We present a novel method for the numerical pricing of American options based
on Monte Carlo simulation and the optimization of exercise strategies. Previous
solutions to this problem either explicitly or implicitly determine so-called
optimal exercise regions, which consist of points in time and space at which a
given option is exercised. In contrast, our method determines the exercise
rates of randomized exercise strategies. We show that the supremum of the
corresponding stochastic optimization problem provides the correct option
price. By integrating analytically over the random exercise decision, we obtain
an objective function that is differentiable with respect to perturbations of
the exercise rate even for finitely many sample paths. The global optimum of
this function can be approached gradually when starting from a constant
exercise rate.

Numerical experiments on vanilla put options in the multivariate
Black-Scholes model and a preliminary theoretical analysis underline the
efficiency of our method, both with respect to the number of
time-discretization steps and the required number of degrees of freedom in the
parametrization of the exercise rates. Finally, we demonstrate the flexibility
of our method through numerical experiments on max call options in the
classical Black-Scholes model, and vanilla put options in both the Heston model
and the non-Markovian rough Bergomi model.