Interpolation of discount factors
This paper deals with the problem of interpolation of discount factors between time buckets. The problem occurs when price and interest rate data of a market segment are assigned to discrete time buckets. A simple criterion is developed in order to identify arbitrage-free robust interpolation methods. Methods closely examined include linear, exponential and weighted exponential interpolation. Weighted exponential interpolation, a method still preferred by some banks and also offered by commercial software vendors, creates several problems and therefore makes simple exponential interpolation a more logical choice. Linear interpolation provides a good approximation of exponential interpolation for a sufficiently dense time grid.
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- Shea, Gary S., 1984. "Pitfalls in Smoothing Interest Rate Term Structure Data: Equilibrium Models and Spline Approximations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 253-269, September.