# Filtration (probability theory)

In the theory of stochastic processes, a subdiscipline of probability theory, filtrations are used to model the information that is available at a given point and therefore play an important role in the formalization of random processes.

## Definition

Let $(\Omega ,{\mathcal {A}},P)$  be a probability space and let $I$  be an index set with a total order $\leq$  (often $\mathbb {N}$ , $\mathbb {R} ^{+}$ , or a subset of $\mathbb {R} ^{+}$ ).

For every $i\in I$  let ${\mathcal {F}}_{i}$  be a Sub σ-algebra of ${\mathcal {A}}$ . Then

$\mathbb {F} :=({\mathcal {F}}_{i})_{i\in I}$

is called a filtration, if ${\mathcal {F}}_{k}\subseteq {\mathcal {F}}_{\ell }\subseteq {\mathcal {A}}$  for all $k\leq \ell$ . So filtrations are families of σ-algebras that are ordered non-decreasingly. If $\mathbb {F}$  is a filtration, then $(\Omega ,{\mathcal {A}},\mathbb {F} ,P)$  is called a filtered probability space.

## Example

Let $(X_{n})_{n\in \mathbb {N} }$  be a stochastic process on the probability space $(\Omega ,{\mathcal {A}},P)$ . Then

${\mathcal {F}}_{n}:=\sigma (X_{k}\mid k\leq n)$

is a σ-algebra and $\mathbb {F} =({\mathcal {F}}_{n})_{n\in \mathbb {N} }$  is a filtration. Here $\sigma (X_{k}\mid k\leq n)$  denotes the σ-algebra generated by the random variables $X_{1},X_{2},\dots ,X_{n}$ .

$\mathbb {F}$  really is a filtration, since by definition all ${\mathcal {F}}_{n}$  are σ-algebras and

$\sigma (X_{k}\mid k\leq n)\subseteq \sigma (X_{k}\mid k\leq n+1).$

## Types of filtrations

### Right-continuous filtration

If $\mathbb {F} =({\mathcal {F}}_{i})_{i\in I}$  is a filtration, then the corresponding right-continuous filtration is defined as

$\mathbb {F} ^{+}:=({\mathcal {F}}_{i}^{+})_{i\in I},$

with

${\mathcal {F}}_{i}^{+}:=\bigcap _{i

The filtration $\mathbb {F}$  itself is called right-continuous iff $\mathbb {F} ^{+}=\mathbb {F}$ .

### Complete filtration

Let

${\mathcal {N}}_{P}:=\{A\subset \Omega \mid A\subset B{\text{ for some }}B{\text{ with }}P(B)=0\}$

be the set of all sets that are contained within a $P$ -null set.

A filtration $\mathbb {F} =({\mathcal {F}}_{i})_{i\in I}$  is called a complete filtration, if every ${\mathcal {F}}_{i}$  contains ${\mathcal {N}}_{P}$ . This is equivalent to $(\Omega ,{\mathcal {F}}_{i},P)$  being a complete measure space for every $i\in I.$

### Augmented filtration

A filtration is called an augmented filtration if it is complete and right continuous. For every filtration $\mathbb {F}$  there exists a smallest augmented filtration ${\tilde {\mathbb {F} }}$  of $\mathbb {F}$ .

If a filtration is an augmented filtration, it is said to satisfy the usual hypotheses or the usual conditions.