The Annals of Applied Probability

Iterative multilevel particle approximation for McKean–Vlasov SDEs

Lukasz Szpruch, Shuren Tan, and Alvin Tse

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The mean field limits of systems of interacting diffusions (also called stochastic interacting particle systems (SIPS)) have been intensively studied since McKean (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 56 (1966) 1907–1911) as they pave a way to probabilistic representations for many important nonlinear/nonlocal PDEs. The fact that particles are not independent render classical variance reduction techniques not directly applicable, and consequently make simulations of interacting diffusions prohibitive.

In this article, we provide an alternative iterative particle representation, inspired by the fixed-point argument by Sznitman (In École D’Été de Probabilités de Saint-Flour XIX—1989 (1991) 165–251, Springer). The representation enjoys suitable conditional independence property that is leveraged in our analysis. We establish weak convergence of iterative particle system to the McKean–Vlasov SDEs (McKV–SDEs). One of the immediate advantages of the iterative particle system is that it can be combined with the Multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) approach for the simulation of McKV–SDEs. We proved that the MLMC approach reduces the computational complexity of calculating expectations by an order of magnitude. Another perspective on this work is that we analyse the error of nested Multilevel Monte Carlo estimators, which is of independent interest. Furthermore, we work with state dependent functionals, unlike scalar outputs which are common in literature on MLMC. The error analysis is carried out in uniform, and what seems to be new, weighted norms.

Article information

Ann. Appl. Probab., Volume 29, Number 4 (2019), 2230-2265.

Received: July 2017
Revised: October 2018
First available in Project Euclid: 23 July 2019

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 65C30: Stochastic differential and integral equations 60H35: Computational methods for stochastic equations [See also 65C30]
Secondary: 60H30: Applications of stochastic analysis (to PDE, etc.)

McKean–Vlasov SDEs stochastic interacting particle systems nonlinear Fokker–Planck equations probabilistic numerical analysis


Szpruch, Lukasz; Tan, Shuren; Tse, Alvin. Iterative multilevel particle approximation for McKean–Vlasov SDEs. Ann. Appl. Probab. 29 (2019), no. 4, 2230--2265. doi:10.1214/18-AAP1452.

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