Sometimes it feels like big companies try to enforce the Productivity Zero rule.

Here is a guide:

- involve as many team as possible. It will help ensuring endless discussions about who is doing what, and then how do I interface with them. This is most (in)efficient when team managers interact and are not very technically competent. One consequence is that nobody is fully responsible/accountable, which helps reinforce the productivity zero.

- meetings, meetings and meetings. FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is king here. By spreading FUD, there will be more and more meetings. Even if the "project" is actually not a real project, but amounts to 10 lines of code, it is possible to have many meetings around it, over the span of several months (because everybody is always busy with other tasks). Another strategy is to use vocabulary, talk about technical or functional parts the others don't understand. Some people are masters are talking technical to functional people and vice versa.

- multiply by 20, not 2. It is surprisingly easy to tell upper management something is going to take 3 months, when, in fact, it can be done in 3 days. This is a bit like bargaining in South East Asia: it's always amazing to find out how much you can push the price down (or how much they push it up).

- hire as many well paid managers and product specialists as you can, and make sure they know nothing about the product or the functional parts but are very good at playing the political game without any content. Those people often manage to stay a long time, a real talent.

## Thursday, January 24, 2013

### Productivity Zero

Sometimes it feels like big companies try to enforce the Productivity Zero rule.

Here is a guide:

- involve as many team as possible. It will help ensuring endless discussions about who is doing what, and then how do I interface with them. This is most (in)efficient when team managers interact and are not very technically competent. One consequence is that nobody is fully responsible/accountable, which helps reinforce the productivity zero.

- meetings, meetings and meetings. FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is king here. By spreading FUD, there will be more and more meetings. Even if the "project" is actually not a real project, but amounts to 10 lines of code, it is possible to have many meetings around it, over the span of several months (because everybody is always busy with other tasks). Another strategy is to use vocabulary, talk about technical or functional parts the others don't understand. Some people are masters are talking technical to functional people and vice versa.

- multiply by 20, not 2. It is surprisingly easy to tell upper management something is going to take 3 months, when, in fact, it can be done in 3 days. This is a bit like bargaining in South East Asia: it's always amazing to find out how much you can push the price down (or how much they push it up).

- hire as many well paid managers and product specialists as you can, and make sure they know nothing about the product or the functional parts but are very good at playing the political game without any content. Those people often manage to stay a long time, a real talent.

Here is a guide:

- involve as many team as possible. It will help ensuring endless discussions about who is doing what, and then how do I interface with them. This is most (in)efficient when team managers interact and are not very technically competent. One consequence is that nobody is fully responsible/accountable, which helps reinforce the productivity zero.

- meetings, meetings and meetings. FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is king here. By spreading FUD, there will be more and more meetings. Even if the "project" is actually not a real project, but amounts to 10 lines of code, it is possible to have many meetings around it, over the span of several months (because everybody is always busy with other tasks). Another strategy is to use vocabulary, talk about technical or functional parts the others don't understand. Some people are masters are talking technical to functional people and vice versa.

- multiply by 20, not 2. It is surprisingly easy to tell upper management something is going to take 3 months, when, in fact, it can be done in 3 days. This is a bit like bargaining in South East Asia: it's always amazing to find out how much you can push the price down (or how much they push it up).

- hire as many well paid managers and product specialists as you can, and make sure they know nothing about the product or the functional parts but are very good at playing the political game without any content. Those people often manage to stay a long time, a real talent.

## Thursday, January 10, 2013

### Better Finite Difference Boundaries with a Tridiagonal Solver

In

It is actually very simple to reduce the system to a tridiagonal system. The more advanced boundary conditions only use 3 adjacent values, just 1 value makes it non tridiagonal, the one in

x x

x x x

x x x

......

x x x

x x x

One just needs to replace the first line by a simple linear combination of the first 2 lines to remove the extra

*Pricing Financial Instruments - The Finite Difference Method*, Tavella and Randall explain that boundary conditions using a higher order discretization (for example their "BC2" boundary condition) can not be solved in one pass with a simple tridiagonal solver, and suggest the use of SOR or some conjugate gradient based solver.It is actually very simple to reduce the system to a tridiagonal system. The more advanced boundary conditions only use 3 adjacent values, just 1 value makes it non tridiagonal, the one in

**bold**is the following matrix representationx x

**x**x x x

x x x

......

x x x

x x x

**x**x xOne just needs to replace the first line by a simple linear combination of the first 2 lines to remove the extra

**x**and similarly for the last 2 lines. This amounts to ver little computational work. Then one can use a standard tridiagonal solver. This is how I implemented it in a past post about boundary conditions of a bond in the CIR model. It is very surprising that they did not propose that simple solution in an otherwise very good book.### Better Finite Difference Boundaries with a Tridiagonal Solver

In

It is actually very simple to reduce the system to a tridiagonal system. The more advanced boundary conditions only use 3 adjacent values, just 1 value makes it non tridiagonal, the one in

x x

x x x

x x x

......

x x x

x x x

One just needs to replace the first line by a simple linear combination of the first 2 lines to remove the extra

*Pricing Financial Instruments - The Finite Difference Method*, Tavella and Randall explain that boundary conditions using a higher order discretization (for example their "BC2" boundary condition) can not be solved in one pass with a simple tridiagonal solver, and suggest the use of SOR or some conjugate gradient based solver.It is actually very simple to reduce the system to a tridiagonal system. The more advanced boundary conditions only use 3 adjacent values, just 1 value makes it non tridiagonal, the one in

**bold**is the following matrix representationx x

**x**x x x

x x x

......

x x x

x x x

**x**x xOne just needs to replace the first line by a simple linear combination of the first 2 lines to remove the extra

**x**and similarly for the last 2 lines. This amounts to ver little computational work. Then one can use a standard tridiagonal solver. This is how I implemented it in a past post about boundary conditions of a bond in the CIR model. It is very surprising that they did not propose that simple solution in an otherwise very good book.## Thursday, January 03, 2013

### Non Central Chi Squared Distribution in Java or Scala

I was looking for an implementation of the non central chi squared distribution function in Java, in order to price bond options under the Cox Ingersoll Ross (CIR) model and compare to a finite difference implementation. It turned out it was not so easy to find existing code for that in a library. I would have imagined that Apache common maths would do this but it does not.

OpenGamma has a not too bad implementation. It relies on Apache commons maths for the Gamma function implementation. I looked at what was there in C/C++. There is some old fortran based ports with plenty of goto statements. There is also a nice implementation in the Boost library. It turns out it is quite easy to port it to Java. One still needs a Gamma function implementation, I looked at Boost implementation of it and it turns out to be very similar to the Apache commons maths one (which is surprisingly not too object oriented and therefore quite fast - maybe they ported it from Boost or from a common source).

The Boost implementation seems much more robust in general thanks to:

If only it was simple to commit to open-source projects while working for a software company...

OpenGamma has a not too bad implementation. It relies on Apache commons maths for the Gamma function implementation. I looked at what was there in C/C++. There is some old fortran based ports with plenty of goto statements. There is also a nice implementation in the Boost library. It turns out it is quite easy to port it to Java. One still needs a Gamma function implementation, I looked at Boost implementation of it and it turns out to be very similar to the Apache commons maths one (which is surprisingly not too object oriented and therefore quite fast - maybe they ported it from Boost or from a common source).

The Boost implementation seems much more robust in general thanks to:

- The use of complimentary distribution function when the value is over 0.5. One drawback is that there is only one implementation of this, the Benton and Krishnamoorthy one, which is a bit slower than Ding's method.
- Reverts to Benton and Krishnamoorthy method in high non-centrality cases. Benton and Krishnamoorthy is always very accurate, while Fraser (used by OpenGamma) is not very precise in general.

If only it was simple to commit to open-source projects while working for a software company...

### Non Central Chi Squared Distribution in Java or Scala

I was looking for an implementation of the non central chi squared distribution function in Java, in order to price bond options under the Cox Ingersoll Ross (CIR) model and compare to a finite difference implementation. It turned out it was not so easy to find existing code for that in a library. I would have imagined that Apache common maths would do this but it does not.

OpenGamma has a not too bad implementation. It relies on Apache commons maths for the Gamma function implementation. I looked at what was there in C/C++. There is some old fortran based ports with plenty of goto statements. There is also a nice implementation in the Boost library. It turns out it is quite easy to port it to Java. One still needs a Gamma function implementation, I looked at Boost implementation of it and it turns out to be very similar to the Apache commons maths one (which is surprisingly not too object oriented and therefore quite fast - maybe they ported it from Boost or from a common source).

The Boost implementation seems much more robust in general thanks to:

If only it was simple to commit to open-source projects while working for a software company...

OpenGamma has a not too bad implementation. It relies on Apache commons maths for the Gamma function implementation. I looked at what was there in C/C++. There is some old fortran based ports with plenty of goto statements. There is also a nice implementation in the Boost library. It turns out it is quite easy to port it to Java. One still needs a Gamma function implementation, I looked at Boost implementation of it and it turns out to be very similar to the Apache commons maths one (which is surprisingly not too object oriented and therefore quite fast - maybe they ported it from Boost or from a common source).

The Boost implementation seems much more robust in general thanks to:

- The use of complimentary distribution function when the value is over 0.5. One drawback is that there is only one implementation of this, the Benton and Krishnamoorthy one, which is a bit slower than Ding's method.
- Reverts to Benton and Krishnamoorthy method in high non-centrality cases. Benton and Krishnamoorthy is always very accurate, while Fraser (used by OpenGamma) is not very precise in general.

If only it was simple to commit to open-source projects while working for a software company...

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