What is meant by a “state”?
- States refer to mutually exclusive events with the current event able to change over time
- Examples of states include:
- Daily weather conditions
- The states could be: “sunny” and “not sunny”
- Countries visited by an inspector each day
- The states could be: “France”, “Spain” and “Germany”
- Store chosen for weekly grocery shop:
- The states could be: “Foods-U-Like”, “Smiley Shoppers” and “Better Buys”
What is a Markov chain?
- A Markov chain is a model that describes a sequence of states over a period of time
- Time is measured in discrete steps
- Such as days, months, years, etc
- The conditions for a Markov chain are:
- The probability of a state being the next state in the sequence only depends on the current state
- For example
The 11th state only depends on the 10th state
The first 9 states do not affect the 11th state
- This probability is called a transition probability
- The transition probabilities do not change over time
- For example
The probability that the 11th state is A given that the 10th state is B is equal to the probability that the 12th state is A given that the 11th state is B
- A Markov chain is said to be regular if it possible to reach any state after a finite period of time regardless of the initial state
What is a transition state diagram?
- A transition diagram is a directed graph
- The vertices are the states
- The edges represent the transition probabilities between the states
- The graph can contain
- These will be the transition probabilities of the next state being the same as the current state
- Two edges between each pair of vertices
- The edges will be in opposite directions
- Each edge will show the transition probability of the state changing in the given direction
- The probabilities on the edges coming out of a vertex add up to 1
Fleur travels to work by car, bike or bus. Each day she chooses her mode of transport based on the transport she chose the previous day.
- If Fleur travels by car then there is a 40% chance that she will travel by car the following day and a 10% chance that she will travel by bike.
- If Fleur travels by bike then there is a 60% chance that she will travel by bike the following day and a 25% chance that she will travel by bus.
- If Fleur travels by bus then there is an 80% chance that she will travel by bike the following day and a 20% chance that she will travel by car.
Represent this information as a transition state diagram.