Abstract:
We study optimal double stopping problems driven by a Brownian bridge. The objective is to maximize the expected spread between the payoffs achieved at the two stopping times. We study several cases where the solutions can be solved explicitly by strategies of threshold type.

Abstract:
A singular stochastic control problem with state constraints in two-dimensions is studied. We show that the value function is $C^1$ and its directional derivatives are the value functions of certain optimal stopping problems. Guided by the optimal stopping problem, we then introduce the associated no-action region and the free boundary and show that, under appropriate conditions, an optimally controlled process is a Brownian motion in the no-action region with reflection at the free boundary. This proves a conjecture of Martins, Shreve and Soner [SIAM J. Control Optim. 34 (1996) 2133--2171] on the form of an optimal control for this class of singular control problems. An important issue in our analysis is that the running cost is Lipschitz but not $C^1$. This lack of smoothness is one of the key obstacles in establishing regularity of the free boundary and of the value function. We show that the free boundary is Lipschitz and that the value function is $C^2$ in the interior of the no-action region. We then use a verification argument applied to a suitable $C^2$ approximation of the value function to establish optimality of the conjectured control.

Abstract:
We consider optimal stopping problems for a Brownian motion and a geometric Brownian motion with a "disorder", assuming that the moment of a disorder is uniformly distributed on a finite interval. Optimal stopping rules are found as the first hitting times of some Markov process (the Shiryaev-Roberts statistic) to time-dependent boundaries, which are characterized by certain Volterra integral equations. The problems considered are related to mathematical finance and can be applied in questions of choosing the optimal time to sell an asset with changing trend.

Abstract:
We consider the optimal stopping problem $v^{(\eps)}:=\sup_{\tau\in\mathcal{T}_{0,T}}\mathbb{E}B_{(\tau-\eps)^+}$ posed by Shiryaev at the International Conference on Advanced Stochastic Optimization Problems organized by the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in September 2012. Here $T>0$ is a fixed time horizon, $(B_t)_{0\leq t\leq T}$ is the Brownian motion, $\eps\in[0,T]$ is a constant, and $\mathcal{T}_{\eps,T}$ is the set of stopping times taking values in $[\eps,T]$. The solution of this problem is characterized by a path dependent reflected backward stochastic differential equations, from which the continuity of $\eps \to v^{(\eps)}$ follows. For large enough $\eps$, we obtain an explicit expression for $v^{(\eps)}$ and for small $\eps$ we have lower and upper bounds. The main result of the paper is the asymptotics of $v^{(\eps)}$ as $\eps\searrow 0$. As a byproduct, we also obtain L\'{e}vy's modulus of continuity result in the $L^1$ sense.

Abstract:
Consider the optimal stopping problem of a one-dimensional diffusion with positive discount. Based on Dynkin's characterization of the value as the minimal excessive majorant of the reward and considering its Riesz representation, we give an explicit equation to find the optimal stopping threshold for problems with one-sided stopping regions, and an explicit formula for the value function of the problem. This representation also gives light on the validity of the smooth fit principle. The results are illustrated by solving some classical problems, and also through the solution of: optimal stopping of the skew Brownian motion, and optimal stopping of the sticky Brownian motion, including cases in which the smooth fit principle fails.

Abstract:
We discuss the distributions of three functionals of the free Brownian bridge: its $\L^2$-norm, the second component of its signature and its L\'evy area. All of these are freely infinitely divisible. We introduce two representations of the free Brownian bridge as series of free semicircular random variables are used, analogous to the Fourier representations of the classical Brownian bridge due to \ts{L\'evy} and \ts{Kac}.

Abstract:
Explicit solution of an infinite horizon optimal stopping problem for a Levy processes with a polynomial reward function is given, in terms of the overall supremum of the process, when the solution of the problem is one-sided. The results are obtained via the generalization of known results about the averaging function associated with the problem. This averaging function can be directly computed in case of polynomial rewards. To illustrate this result, examples for general quadratic and cubic polynomials are discussed in case the process is Brownian motion, and the optimal stopping problem for a quartic polynomial and a Kou's process is solved.

Abstract:
Given a survival distribution on the positive half-axis and a Brownian motion, a solution of the inverse first-passage problem consists of a boundary so that the first passage time over the boundary has the given distribution. We show that the solution of the inverse first- passage problem coincides with the solution of a related optimal stopping problem. Consequently, methods from optimal stopping theory may be applied in the study of the inverse first-passage problem. We illustrate this with a study of the associated integral equation for the boundary.

Abstract:
In this paper we demonstrate that the Riesz representation of excessive functions is a useful and enlightening tool to study optimal stopping problems. After a short general discussion of the Riesz representation we concretize, firstly, on a d-dimensional and, secondly, a space-time one-dimensional geometric Brownian motion. After this, two classical optimal stopping problems are discussed: 1) the optimal investment problem and 2) the valuation of the American put option. It is seen in both of these problems that the boundary of the stopping region can be characterized as a unique solution of an integral equation arising immediately from the Riesz representation of the value function. In Problem 2 the derived equation coincides with the standard well-known equation found in the literature.

Abstract:
The optimal stopping problem for a Hunt processes on $\R$ is considered via the representation theory of excessive functions. In particular, we focus on infinite horizon (or perpetual) problems with one-sided structure, that is, there exists a point $x^*$ such that the stopping region is of the form $[x^*,+\infty)$. Corresponding results for two-sided problems are also indicated. The main result is a spectral representation of the value function in terms of the Green kernel of the process. Specializing in L\'evy processes, we obtain, by applying the Wiener-Hopf factorization, a general representation of the value function in terms of the maximum of the L\'evy process. To illustrate the results, an explicit expression for the Green kernel of Brownian motion with exponential jumps is computed and some optimal stopping problems for Poisson process with positive exponential jumps and negative drift are solved.