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Abstract

We study a class of branching processes in which a population consists of immortal individuals equipped with a fitness value. Individuals produce offspring with a rate given by their fitness, and offspring may either belong to the same family, sharing the fitness of their parent, or be founders of new families, with a fitness sampled from a fitness distribution μ. Examples that can be embedded in this class are stochastic house-of-cards models, urn models with reinforcement and the preferential attachment tree of Bianconi and Barabási. Our focus is on the case when the fitness distribution μ has bounded support and regularly varying tail at the essential supremum. In this case, there exists a condensation phase, in which asymptotically a proportion of mass in the empirical fitness distribution of the overall population condenses in the maximal fitness value. Our main results describe the asymptotic behaviour of the size and fitness of the largest family at a given time. In particular, we show that as time goes to infinity the size of the largest family is always negligible compared to the overall population size. This implies that condensation, when it arises, is nonextensive and emerges as a collective effort of several families none of which can create a condensate on its own. Our result disproves claims made in the physics literature in the context of preferential attachment trees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2539-2568
Number of pages30
JournalAnnals of Applied Probability
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date30 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

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Keywords

  • Bianconi-Barabási model
  • Condensation
  • Crump-Mode-Jagers process
  • Genetics
  • House-of-cards model
  • Network
  • Non-Malthusian branching
  • Preferential attachment
  • Reinforcement
  • Selection and mutation
  • Urn model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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