It has been shown that backward doubly stochastic differential equations (BDSDEs) provide a probabilistic representation for a certain class of nonlinear parabolic stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs). It has also been shown that the solution of a BDSDE with Lipschitz coefficients can be approximated by first discretizing time and then calculating a sequence of conditional expectations. Given fixed points in time and space, this approximation has been shown to converge in mean square.
In this thesis, we investigate the approximation of solutions of BDSDEs with coefficients that are measurable in time and space using a time discretization scheme with a view towards applications to SPDEs. To achieve this, we require the underlying forward diffusion to have smooth coefficients and we consider convergence in a norm which includes a weighted spatial integral. This combination of smoother forward coefficients and weaker norm allows the use of an equivalence of norms result which is key to our approach. We additionally take a brief look at the approximation of solutions of a class of infinite horizon BDSDEs with a view towards approximating stationary solutions of SPDEs.
Whilst we remain agnostic with regards to the implementation of our discretization scheme, our scheme should be amenable to a Monte Carlo simulation based approach. If this is the case, we propose that in addition to being attractive from a performance perspective in higher dimensions, such an approach has a potential advantage when considering measurable coefficients. Specifically, since we only discretize time and effectively rely on simulations of the underlying forward diffusion to explore space, we are potentially less vulnerable to systematically overestimating or underestimating the effects of coefficients with spatial discontinuities than alternative approaches such as finite difference or finite element schemes that do discretize space.
Another advantage of the BDSDE approach is that it is possible to derive an upper bound on the error of our method for a fairly broad class of conditions in a single analysis. Furthermore, our conditions seem more general in some respects than is typically considered in the SPDE literature.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.