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I'm completely new to Mathematica and can't seem to find an answer elsewhere so hopefully I can get some help here. I'm trying to plot a recurrence relation, where a random variate is generated at each iteration of the recurrence. From looking at the output, it appears as though the RandomVariate evaluates to a constant at each iteration. I have this inside a 'manipulate' block:

   RecurrenceTable[{S[i] == 
   S[i - 1]*
   Exp[(r - (vol^2/2.0))*T/N + 
     vol*RandomVariate[NormalDistribution[μ, σ]]*
      Sqrt[T/N]], S[1] == S0}, S, {i, 2, N}]]}]

Any help with what I'm trying to accomplish would be appreciated.

Edit: here's the full version

 Plot[{PDF[ NormalDistribution[μ, σ], x],        
       PDF[ JohnsonDistribution["SU", γ, δ, μ, σ], x]}, {x, -6, 6}, Filling -> Axis],
RecurrenceTable[{S[i] == 
   S[i - 1]*
    Exp[(r - (vol^2/2.0))*T/N + 
      vol*RandomVariate[NormalDistribution[μ, σ]]*
       Sqrt[T/N]], S[1] == S0}, S, {i, 2, N}]]}],
Style["Distribution Parameters", 12, Bold],
 {{μ, 0}, -5,   5},
 {{σ, 1}, 0.1,  5},
 {{γ, 1},    1, 10},
 {{δ, 1},    1, 10} ,
 Style["Option Parameters", 12 , Bold],
 {{N, 10}, 10, 1000},
 {{T, 1/12}, 1/12, 1},
 {{vol, 0.2}, 0, 1.0},
 {{r, 0}, 0, 0.3},
 {{q, 0}, 0, 0.3},
 {{S0, 100}, 0, 1000},
 ControlPlacement -> Left]
share|improve this question
As your code stands it doesn't run: there are several undefined varables (mu, sigma, etc) and the brackets are misaligned. Also, you cannot use N as a variable (it is reserved for the function N). Try to use small letters to avoid such conflicts. – bill s Jun 6 '13 at 14:57
I intended to imply that, being inside a manipulate block, the undefined variables were defined elsewhere. I wanted to omit the other parts to draw attention to the important bit, but I'll post the full version. – Ryan Jun 6 '13 at 14:59
I can confirm that RecurrenceTable only calculates the parameters of the equations only once. It expects the parameters to be, well, just parameters, i.e., fixed. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Jun 6 '13 at 21:26

RecurrenceTable can work not only with fixed variables, just add triple Unevaluated. For example:

RecurrenceTable[{a[n + 1] == a[n] + Unevaluated@Unevaluated@Unevaluated@RandomReal[], 
  a[1] == 0}, a, {n, 1, 10}]
{0, 0.421764, 0.931848, 1.84073, 2.50044, 2.82655, 3.76122, 4.34796, 4.66102, 5.31278}
% // Differences
 {0.421764, 0.510084, 0.908884, 0.659712, 0.326103, 0.934675, 0.586739, 0.31306, 0.65175}
share|improve this answer
You can also use ξ[n_Integer] := RandomReal[] for unevaluated random numbers – ybeltukov Nov 19 '15 at 1:54

Here's how I would approach this problem:

vol = 1; t = 1; n = 20; S0 = 1; r = 1;
f[x_, a_] = x*Exp[(r - (vol^2/2.0))*t/n + vol*a*Sqrt[t/n]];
randN = RandomVariate[NormalDistribution[0, 1], {n}];
out = FoldList[f, S0, randN];

enter image description here

(with constants defined arbitrarily). I have replaced RecurrenceTable with FoldList and I think this gives you what you wish: unlike the code in the RecurrenceTable, the values go up and down (as any good stochastic process should).

share|improve this answer
Thanks for this. I've tried it this way and the output still doesn't look like geometric brownian motion to me. Would you mind trying to run the full version I posted above? – Ryan Jun 6 '13 at 15:18
I agree that the code you posted does not work -- it always looks like an exponential decay or an exponential growth. I've tried to fix the heart of the matter above. – bill s Jun 6 '13 at 15:53

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