In this thesis, mathematical research questions related to recursive utility and stochastic differential utility (SDU) are explored.
First, a class of backward equations under nonlinear expectations is investigated: Existence and uniqueness of solutions are established, and the issues of stability and discrete-time approximation are addressed. It is then shown that backward equations of this class naturally appear as a continuous-time limit in the context of recursive utility with nonlinear expectations.
Then, the Epstein-Zin parametrization of SDU is studied. The focus is on specifications with both relative risk aversion and elasitcity of intertemporal substitution greater that one. A concave utility functional is constructed and a utility gradient inequality is established.
Finally, consumption-portfolio problems with recursive preferences and unspanned risk are investigated. The investor's optimal strategies are characterized by a specific semilinear partial differential equation. The solution of this equation is constructed by a fixed point argument, and a corresponding efficient and accurate method to calculate optimal strategies numerically is given.
This thesis deals with risk measures based on utility functions and time consistency of dynamic risk measures. It is therefore aimed at readers interested in both, the theory of static and dynamic financial risk measures in the sense of Artzner, Delbaen, Eber and Heath ,  and the theory of preferences in the tradition of von Neumann and Morgenstern .
A main contribution of this thesis is the introduction of optimal expected utility (OEU) risk measures as a new class of utility-based risk measures. We introduce OEU, investigate its main properties, and its applicability to risk measurement and put it in perspective to alternative risk measures and notions of certainty equivalents. To the best of our knowledge, OEU is the only existing utility-based risk measure that is (non-trivial and) coherent if the utility function u has constant relative risk aversion. We present several different risk measures that can be derived with special choices of u and illustrate that OEU reacts in a more sensitive way to slight changes of the probability of a financial loss than value at risk (V@R) and average value at risk.
Further, we propose implied risk aversion as a coherent rating methodology for retail structured products (RSPs). Implied risk aversion is based on optimal expected utility risk measures and, in contrast to standard V@R-based ratings, takes into account both the upside potential and the downside risks of such products. In addition, implied risk aversion is easily interpreted in terms of an individual investor's risk aversion: A product is attractive (unattractive) for an investor if its implied risk aversion is higher (lower) than his individual risk aversion. We illustrate this approach in a case study with more than 15,000 warrants on DAX ® and find that implied risk aversion is able to identify favorable products; in particular, implied risk aversion is not necessarily increasing with respect to the strikes of call warrants.
Another main focus of this thesis is on consistency of dynamic risk measures. To this end, we study risk measures on the space of distributions, discuss concavity on the level of distributions and slightly generalize Weber's  findings on the relation of time consistent dynamic risk measures to static risk measures to the case of dynamic risk measures with time-dependent parameters. Finally, this thesis investigates how recursively composed dynamic risk measures in discrete time, which are time consistent by construction, can be related to corresponding dynamic risk measures in continuous time. We present different approaches to establish this link and outline the theoretical basis and the practical benefits of this relation. The thesis concludes with a numerical implementation of this theory.
In this paper, we discuss the problem of approximating ellipsoid uncertainty sets with bounded (gamma) uncertainty sets. Robust linear programs with ellipsoid uncertainty lead to quadratically constrained programs, whereas robust linear programs with bounded uncertainty sets remain linear programs which are generally easier to solve.
We call a bounded uncertainty set an inner approximation of an ellipsoid if it is contained in it. We consider two different inner approximation problems. The first problem is to find a bounded uncertainty set which sticks close to the ellipsoid such that a shrank version of the ellipsoid is contained in it. The approximation is optimal if the required shrinking is minimal. In the second problem, we search for a bounded uncertainty set within the ellipsoid with maximum volume. We present how both problems can be solved analytically by stating explicit formulas for the optimal solutions of these problems.
Further, we present in a computational experiment how the derived approximation techniques can be used to approximate shortest path and network flow problems which are affected by ellipsoidal uncertainty.
We investigate the long-term behaviour of diffusions on the non-negative real numbers under killing at some random time. Killing can occur at zero as well as in the interior of the state space. The diffusion follows a stochastic differential equation driven by a Brownian motion. The diffusions we are working with will almost surely be killed. In large parts of this thesis we only assume the drift coefficient to be continuous. Further, we suppose that zero is regular and that infinity is natural. We condition the diffusion on survival up to time t and let t tend to infinity looking for a limiting behaviour.
For the prediction of digging forces from a granular material simulation, the
Nonsmooth Contact Dynamics Method is examined. First, the equations of motion
for nonsmooth mechanical systems are laid out. They are a differential
variational inequality that has the same structure as classical discrete algebraic equations. Using a Galerkin projection in time, it becomes possible to derive
nonsmooth versions of the classical SHAK and RATTLE integrators.
A matrix-free Interior Point Method is used for the complementarity
problems that need to be solved in every time step. It is shown that this method
outperforms the Projected Gauss-Jacobi method by several orders of magnitude
and produces the same digging force result as the Discrete Element Method in comparable computing time.
We consider the problem to evacuate several regions due to river flooding, where sufficient time is given to plan ahead. To ensure a smooth evacuation procedure, our model includes the decision which regions to assign to which shelter, and when evacuation orders should be issued, such that roads do not become congested.
Due to uncertainty in weather forecast, several possible scenarios are simultaneously considered in a robust optimization framework. To solve the resulting integer program, we apply a Tabu search algorithm based on decomposing the problem into better tractable subproblems. Computational experiments on random instances and an instance based on Kulmbach, Germany, data show considerable improvement compared to an MIP solver provided with a strong starting solution.
We present a new approach to handle uncertain combinatorial optimization problems that uses solution ranking procedures to determine the degree of robustness of a solution. Unlike classic concepts for robust optimization, our approach is not purely based on absolute quantitative performance, but also includes qualitative aspects that are of major importance for the decision maker.
We discuss the two variants, solution ranking and objective ranking robustness, in more detail, presenting problem complexities and solution approaches. Using an uncertain shortest path problem as a computational example, the potential of our approach is demonstrated in the context of evacuation planning due to river flooding.
We investigate a PDE-ODE system describing cancer cell invasion in a tissue network. The model is an extension of the multiscale setting in [28,40], by considering two subpopulations of tumor cells interacting mutually and with the surrounding tissue. According to the go-or-grow hypothesis, these subpopulations consist of moving and proliferating cells, respectively. The mathematical setting also accommodates the effects of some therapy approaches. We prove the global existence of weak solutions to this model and perform numerical simulations to illustrate its behavior for different therapy strategies.
In a financial market we consider three types of investors trading with a finite
time horizon with access to a bank account as well as multliple stocks: the
fully informed investor, the partially informed investor whose only source of
information are the stock prices and an investor who does not use this infor-
mation. The drift is modeled either as following linear Gaussian dynamics
or as being a continuous time Markov chain with finite state space. The
optimization problem is to maximize expected utility of terminal wealth.
The case of partial information is based on the use of filtering techniques.
Conditions to ensure boundedness of the expected value of the filters are
developed, in the Markov case also for positivity. For the Markov modulated
drift, boundedness of the expected value of the filter relates strongly to port-
folio optimization: effects are studied and quantified. The derivation of an
equivalent, less dimensional market is presented next. It is a type of Mutual
Fund Theorem that is shown here.
Gains and losses eminating from the use of filtering are then discussed in
detail for different market parameters: For infrequent trading we find that
both filters need to comply with the boundedness conditions to be an advan-
tage for the investor. Losses are minimal in case the filters are advantageous.
At an increasing number of stocks, again boundedness conditions need to be
met. Losses in this case depend strongly on the added stocks. The relation
of boundedness and portfolio optimization in the Markov model leads here to
increasing losses for the investor if the boundedness condition is to hold for
all numbers of stocks. In the Markov case, the losses for different numbers
of states are negligible in case more states are assumed then were originally
present. Assuming less states leads to high losses. Again for the Markov
model, a simplification of the complex optimal trading strategy for power
utility in the partial information setting is shown to cause only minor losses.
If the market parameters are such that shortselling and borrowing constraints
are in effect, these constraints may lead to big losses depending on how much
effect the constraints have. They can though also be an advantage for the
investor in case the expected value of the filters does not meet the conditions
All results are implemented and illustrated with the corresponding numerical
In this thesis we develop a shape optimization framework for isogeometric analysis in the optimize first–discretize then setting. For the discretization we use
isogeometric analysis (iga) to solve the state equation, and search optimal designs in a space of admissible b-spline or nurbs combinations. Thus a quite
general class of functions for representing optimal shapes is available. For the
gradient-descent method, the shape derivatives indicate both stopping criteria and search directions and are determined isogeometrically. The numerical treatment requires solvers for partial differential equations and optimization methods, which introduces numerical errors. The tight connection between iga and geometry representation offers new ways of refining the geometry and analysis discretization by the same means. Therefore, our main concern is to develop the optimize first framework for isogeometric shape optimization as ground work for both implementation and an error analysis. Numerical examples show that this ansatz is practical and case studies indicate that it allows local refinement.