Kybernetika 42 no. 1, 37-56, 2006

Monotonicity and comparison results for nonnegative dynamic systems. Part I: Discrete-time case

Nico M. van Dijk and Karel Sladký


In two subsequent parts, Part I and II, monotonicity and comparison results will be studied, as generalization of the pure stochastic case, for arbitrary dynamic systems governed by nonnegative matrices. Part I covers the discrete-time and Part II the continuous-time case. The research has initially been motivated by a reliability application contained in Part II. In the present Part I it is shown that monotonicity and comparison results, as known for Markov chains, do carry over rather smoothly to the general nonnegative case for marginal, total and average reward structures. These results, though straightforward, are not only of theoretical interest by themselves, but also essential for the more practical continuous-time case in Part II (see \cite{DijkSl2}). An instructive discrete-time random walk example is included.