Branching diffusion representation of semilinear PDEs and Monte Carlo approximation

28 April 2016

We provide a representation result of parabolic semi-linear PDEs, with polynomial nonlinearity, by branching diffusion processes. We extend the classical representation for KPP equations, introduced by Skorokhod (1964), Watanabe (1965) and McKean (1975), by allowing for polynomial nonlinearity in the pair (u,Du), where u is the solution of the PDE with space gradient Du. Similar to the previous literature, our result requires a non-explosion condition which restrict to "small maturity" or "small nonlinearity" of the PDE. Our main ingredient is the automatic differentiation technique as in Henry Labordere, Tan and Touzi (2015), based on the Malliavin integration by parts, which allows to account for the nonlinearities in the gradient. As a consequence, the particles of our branching diffusion are marked by the nature of the nonlinearity. This new representation has very important numerical implications as it is suitable for Monte Carlo simulation.