Lyapunov Exponents for Branching Processes in a Random Environment: The Effect of Information
We consider multitype branching processes evolving in a Markovian random environment. To determine whether or not the branching process becomes extinct almost surely is akin to computing the maximal Lyapunov exponent of a sequence of random matrices, which is a notoriously difficult problem. We define Markov chains associated to the branching process, and we construct bounds for the Lyapunov exponent. The bounds are obtained by adding or by removing information: to add information results in a lower bound, to remove information results in an upper bound, and we show that adding less information improves the lower bound. We give a few illustrative examples and we observe that the upper bound is generally more accurate than the lower bounds.