- Particle systems with locally dependent branching : long-time behaviour, genealogy and critical parameters (2003)
- We consider the long-time behaviour of spatially extended random populations with locally dependent branching. We treat two classes of models: 1) Systems of continuous-time random walks on the d-dimensional grid with state dependent branching rate. While there are k particles at a given site, a branching event occurs there at rate s(k), and one of the particles is replaced by a random number of offspring (according to a fixed distribution with mean 1 and finite variance). 2) Discrete-time systems of branching random walks in random environment. Given a space-time i.i.d. field of random offspring distributions, all particles act independently, the offspring law of a given particle depending on its position and generation. The mean number of children per individual, averaged over the random environment, equals one The long-time behaviour is determined by the interplay of the motion and the branching mechanism: In the case of recurrent symmetrised individual motion, systems of the second type become locally extinct. We prove a comparison theorem for convex functionals of systems of type one which implies that these systems also become locally extinct in this case, provided that the branching rate function grows at least linearly. Furthermore, the analysis of a caricature model leads to the conjecture that local extinction prevails generically in this case. In the case of transient symmetrised individual motion the picture is more complex: Branching random walks with state dependent branching rate converge towards a non-trivial equilibrium, which preserves the initial intensity, whenever the branching rate function grows subquadratically. Systems of type 1) and systems of type 2) with quadratic branching rate function show very similar behaviour. They converge towards a non-trivial equilibrium if a conditional exponential moment of the collision time of two random walks of an order that reflects the variability in the branching mechanism is finite almost surely. The equilibrium population has finite variance of the local particle number if the corresponding unconditional exponential moment is finite. These results are proved by means of genealogical representations of the locally size-biased population. Furthermore, we compute the threshold values for existence of conditional exponential moments of the collision time of two random walks in terms of the entropy of the transition functions, using tools from large deviations theory. Our results prove in particular that - in contrast to the classical case of independent branching - there is a regime of equilibria with variance of the local number of particles.