Abstract

Markov chains are a fundamental subject of study in mathematical probability and have found wide application in nearly every branch of science. Of particular interest are finite-state Markov chains; the representation of finite-state Markov chains by a transition matrix facilitates detailed analysis by linear algebraic methods. Previous methods of analyzing finite-state Markov chains have emphasized state events. In this thesis we develop the concept of a transition event and define two types of transition events: cumulative events and time-average events. Transition events generalize state events and provide a more flexible framework for analysis. We derive computable, closed-form expressions for the expectation of these two events, characterize the conditioning of transition events, provide an algorithm for computing the expectation of these events, and analyze the complexity and stability of the algorithm. As an application, we derive a construction of composite Markov chains, which we use to study competitive dynamics.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2009-07-10

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd3033

Keywords

mathematics, probability, Markov chains, transient, reducible, generalized inverses, transition events, expectation

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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