The Karlin-McGregor representation for the transition probabilities of a birth-death process with an absorbing bottom state involves a sequence of orthogonal polynomials and the corresponding measure. This representation can be generalized to a setting in which a transition to the absorbing state (killing) is possible from any state rather than just one state. The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what extent properties of birth-death processes, in particular with regard to the existence of quasi-stationary distributions, remain valid in the generalized setting. It turns out that the elegant structure of the theory of quasi-stationarity for birth-death processes remains largely intact as long as killing is possible from only finitely many states. In particular, the existence of a quasi-stationary distribution is ensured in this case if absorption is certain and the state probabilities tend to zero exponentially fast.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of applied mathematics and stochastic analysis|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|