# predictable stopping time

A predictable, or previsible stopping time is a random time which is possible to predict just before the event. Letting $(\mathcal{F}_{t})_{t\in\mathbb{R}_{+}}$ be a filtration  (http://planetmath.org/FiltrationOfSigmaAlgebras) on a measurable space   $(\Omega,\mathcal{F})$, then, a stopping time $\tau$ is predictable if there exists an increasing sequence of stopping times $\tau_{n}$ satisfying the following.

• $\tau_{n}<\tau$ whenever $\tau>0$.

• $\tau_{n}\rightarrow\tau$ as $n\rightarrow\infty$.

The sequence $\tau_{n}$ is said to announce or foretell $\tau$.

For example, if $X$ is a continuous   adapted process with $X_{0}=0$, such as Brownian motion  , then the first time $\tau$ at which it hits a given level $K\not=0$ is a predictable stopping time. In this case, if $\tau_{n}$ is the first time at which $X$ hits the level $K(1-1/n)$, then the sequence $\tau_{n}$ announces $\tau$.

On the other hand, if $X$ is a Poisson process then the first time $\tau$ at which it is nonzero is not predictable. To show this, suppose that $\tau_{n}<\tau$ are stopping times. The fact that $X_{t}-\lambda t$ is a martingale  means that Doob’s optional sampling theorem  can be applied, giving $\mathbb{E}[X_{\tau_{n}}-\lambda\tau_{n}]=0$. Then, $X_{t}=0$ for $t<\tau$ gives $\mathbb{E}[\tau_{n}]=0$. So, $\tau_{n}=0$ with probability one, and the sequence $\tau_{n}$ cannot announce $\tau$.

In discrete time, where the filtration $(\mathcal{F}_{t})$ has time $t$ running over the index set   $\mathbb{Z}_{+}$, then a stopping time is said to be predictable if $\{\tau\leq t\}$ is $\mathcal{F}_{t-1}$-measurable for every time $t=1,2,\ldots$.

This can be generalized to an arbitrary index set $\mathbb{T}$, where a stopping time $\tau\colon\Omega\rightarrow\mathbb{T}\cup\{\infty\}$ is predictable if there exists an increasing sequence of stopping times $\tau_{n}\leq\tau$ such that $\tau_{n}<\tau$ whenever $\tau$ is not equal to a minimal element of $\mathbb{T}$, and $\bigcap_{n}(\tau_{n},\tau)$ contains no elements of $\mathbb{T}$.

 Title predictable stopping time Canonical name PredictableStoppingTime Date of creation 2013-03-22 18:37:19 Last modified on 2013-03-22 18:37:19 Owner gel (22282) Last modified by gel (22282) Numerical id 6 Author gel (22282) Entry type Definition Classification msc 60G40 Classification msc 60G05 Synonym predictable time Synonym previsible time Synonym previsible stopping time Related topic StoppingTime Related topic PredictableProcess