## Abstract

Consider any supercritical Galton-Watson process which may become extinct with positive probability. It is a well-understood and intuitively obvious phenomenon that, on the survival set, the process may be pathwise decomposed into a stochastically ‘thinner’ Galton-Watson process, which almost surely survives and which is decorated with immigrants, at every time step, initiating independent copies of the original Galton-Watson process conditioned to become extinct. The thinner process is known as the backbone and characterizes the genealogical lines of descent of prolific individuals in the original process. Here, prolific means individuals who have at least one descendant in every subsequent generation to their ownn.

Starting with Evans and O’Connell (Can Math Bull 37:187–196, 1994), there exists a cluster of literature, (Engländer and Pinsky, Ann Probab 27:684–730, 1999; Salisbury and Verzani, Probab Theory Relat Fields 115:237–285, 1999; Duquesne and Winkel, Probab Theory Relat Fields 139:313–371, 2007; Berestycki, Kyprianou and Murillo-Salas, Stoch Proc Appl 121:1315–1331, 2011; Kyprianou and Ren, Stat Probab Lett 82:139–144, 2012),describing the analogue of this decomposition (the so-called backbone decomposition) for a variety of different classes of superprocesses and continuous-state branching processes. Note that the latter family of stochastic processes may be seen as the total mass process of superprocesses with non-spatially dependent branching mechanism.In this article we consolidate the aforementioned collection of results concerning backbone decompositions and describe a result for a general class of supercritical superprocesses with spatially dependent branching mechanisms. Our approach exposes the commonality and robustness of many of the existing arguments in the literature.

Starting with Evans and O’Connell (Can Math Bull 37:187–196, 1994), there exists a cluster of literature, (Engländer and Pinsky, Ann Probab 27:684–730, 1999; Salisbury and Verzani, Probab Theory Relat Fields 115:237–285, 1999; Duquesne and Winkel, Probab Theory Relat Fields 139:313–371, 2007; Berestycki, Kyprianou and Murillo-Salas, Stoch Proc Appl 121:1315–1331, 2011; Kyprianou and Ren, Stat Probab Lett 82:139–144, 2012),describing the analogue of this decomposition (the so-called backbone decomposition) for a variety of different classes of superprocesses and continuous-state branching processes. Note that the latter family of stochastic processes may be seen as the total mass process of superprocesses with non-spatially dependent branching mechanism.In this article we consolidate the aforementioned collection of results concerning backbone decompositions and describe a result for a general class of supercritical superprocesses with spatially dependent branching mechanisms. Our approach exposes the commonality and robustness of many of the existing arguments in the literature.

Original language | English |
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Title of host publication | Seminaire de Probabilites XLVI |

Editors | Catherine Donati-Martin, Antoine LeJay, Alain Rouault |

Place of Publication | Switzerland |

Publisher | Springer |

Pages | 33 - 59 |

Number of pages | 27 |

ISBN (Electronic) | 978-3-319-11970-0 |

ISBN (Print) | 978-3-319-11969-4 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 30 Oct 2014 |

### Publication series

Name | Lecture Notes in Mathematics |
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Publisher | Springer |

Volume | 2123 |

ISSN (Print) | 0075-8434 |