Existence and regularity of a nonhomogeneous transition matrix under measurability conditions

Ye, Liuer
Guo, Xianping
Hernández-Lerma, Onésimo
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This paper is about the existence and regularity of the transition probability matrix of a nonhomogeneous continuous-time Markov process with a countable state space. A standard approach to prove the existence of such a transition matrix is to begin with a continuous (in t) and conservative matrix Q(t)=[q_{ij}(t)] of nonhomogeneous transition rates q_{ij}(t), and use it to construct the transition probability matrix. Here we obtain the same result except that the q_{ij}(t) are only required to satisfy a mild measurability condition, and Q(t) may not be conservative. Moreover, the resulting transition matrix is shown to be the minimum transition matrix and, in addition, a necessary and sufficient condition for it to be regular is obtained. These results are crucial in some applications of nonhomogeneous continuous-time Markov processes, such as stochastic optimal control problems and stochastic games, which motivated this work in the first place.
Comment: 22 pages
Mathematics - Probability, 60J27, 60J35, 60J75