I've been doing some digging, and this question has been asked many times in various forms over the years -
- Backtesting Options Strategies in R
- Are there any good tools for backtesting options strategies?
- Backtesting on historical options data
- Papers about backtesting option trading strategies
In particular I am interested in spread trading. From these I've gathered backtesting these strategies is pretty much relegated to commercial tools, or professionals writing their own. I understand the basic idea of backtesting, and I'd like to make my own. Partially because right now I'm just a hobbyist who doesn't yet have the capital to afford a really nice tool, and partially because I would like to learn exactly how it works from the inside.
One post mentions that an options backtester is not much different than an equity backtester. It's possible that this is true - but I don't understand how. For options backtesting, we'd need historical options data (to get the bid/ask, strike, expiration, delta, imp. vol., etc), and also historical data for the underlying contract in order to generate signals. We would also need to properly expire the options. Perhaps I am over-complicating it.
Is there any resources that really dive in depth to how their backtester was made? Some of the papers in the 4th link go into it a little bit in the methodology section, but it seemed to me there wasn't too much to chew on in most of them. Most likely because discussion of the backtester itself is tangential to the actual paper.