Royal Society Publishing

Regenerative Stochastic Processes

W. L. Smith

Abstract

A wide class of stochastic processes, called regenerative, is defined, and it is shown that under general conditions the instantaneous probability distribution of such a process tends with time to a unique limiting distribution, whatever the initial conditions. The general results are then applied to 'S.M.-processes', a generalization of Markov chains, and it is shown that the limiting distribution of the process may always be obtained by assuming negative-exponential distributions for the 'waits' in the different 'states'. Lastly, the behaviour of integrals of regenerative processes is considered and, amongst other results, an ergodic and a multi-dimensional central limit theorem are proved.

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