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Bounds on the deviation of discrete-time Markov chains from their mean-field model

Luca Bortolussi, Richard Hayden

Journal Article
Performance Evaluation

We consider a generic mean-field scenario, in which a sequence of population models, described by discrete-time Markov chains (DTMCs), converges to a deterministic limit in discrete time. Under the assumption that the limit has a globally attracting equilibrium, the steady states of the sequence of DTMC models converge to the point-mass distribution concentrated on this equilibrium. In this paper we provide explicit bounds in probability for the convergence of such steady states, combining stochastic bounds on the local error with control-theoretic tools used in the stability analysis of perturbed dynamical systems to bound the global accumulation of error. We also adapt this method to compute bounds on the transient dynamics. The approach is illustrated by a wireless sensor network example.

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