IEOR - Designing a More Efficient World

Stochastic Comparison of Discounted Rewards

Publication Date: July 14, 2016


Abstract: It is well know that the expected exponentially discounted total reward for a stochastic process can also be defined as the expected total undiscounted reward earned before an independent exponential stopping time (let us call this the stopped reward). Feinberg and Fei (2009) recently showed that the variance of the discounted reward is smaller than the variance of the stopped reward. We strengthen this result to show that the discounted reward is smaller than the stopped reward in the convex ordering sense.