In the previous module, I gave you a cartoon example of how a Markov chain coarse-grains as you go to longer and longer time blocks. So, I gave you a Markov chain that worked, let’s say, at one second resolution, and then I showed you how to build a Markov chain that worked if your time resolution was poor. So, for example let’s say, you could only observe the first second of each two second block. That decimation coarse graining transforms the underlying model itself, and so, as you saw, when we went from the fine-grained model, Markov chain, and coarse-grained it on blocks of scale 2, that Markov chain seemed to get a little more complicated, and all I mean by that, it seemed to have more arrows – we don’t really have good way to judge the complexity of a Markov chain. But the model certainly changed, and it didn’t necessarily change for the better. Even though we simplified our observations, the model itself seemed to do something, well, not necessarily weird, but something that didn’t seem to have a particular structure to how it changed. But if we coarse-grained on sufficiently long timescales, it appeared that the Markov chain coarse-grained to a simpler case where the outgoing probabilities for each of the states were the same. So, each state had the same probability to go to state A, B, C, and D as the other states did. In this module, here, what I’m going to do is show you how to do a little bit of linear algebra to actually make that concept rigorous, to talk about how a Markov chain will, eventually, if you coarse-grain enough, simplify into a small into a smaller subspace of all possible models. This would be one of our first examples of a renormalization group transformation that takes you to what we call a fixed point. So, what I’m going to do is give you that example using a much simpler Markov chain which I’ve drawn on the board here. This Markov chain has two states, A and B. What I’ve done, instead of writing exact numerical probabilities for each of these transitions, I’ve just parameterized the system with one parameter ϵ. So, in this case here, what we have is a system that can jump from A to B with probability 1 - ϵ, or it can stay in state A with probability ϵ. If we make ϵ small, that means that the probability to stay in state A is small, so the system will tend to oscillate back and forth – it will go ABABAB. As ϵ gets larger and larger, it will have a certain probability to stay in state A. So, it might it might, in fact, go AAABBBABAABB, it’s a kind of slippy counter as ϵ gets larger and larger. So, a simple way to write or describe this model is to imagine that we describe the state of the system using your column vector. In this case the column vector will have two entries: the first entry will be the probability that you’re in state A; the second entry will be the probability that you’re in state B. Now we can describe the evolution of that system over time using a two-by-two matrix where the entries of the matrix look like this. Each term here is a conditional probability that tells you how you move depending upon which state you’re in. So, for example, we can see if the matrix is written like this, where, for example, the first term in the top-left corner here of this matrix is the probability that given you’re in state A, what’s the probability that you transition to state A, stay in state A. Or here, for example, if you’re in the top-right corner, this is the probability that, given you’re in state B, you transition to state A. Notice that when you do the matrix multiplication here, and I’ll just do the top one to give you a sense of how this works, in case you haven’t seen it before, This top entry here now says that the probability that you’re in state A after one time step is the probability that you begin in state A and transition to the same state A, you stay in that state, the probability of A given A, plus the probability that if you begin in state B, the probability of state B, times the probability of transitioning from B to A. And then we’ll leave as a homework example for you to compute the second term here. So what we see is we can now evolve the system through time by multiplying using this matrix here, which is sometimes called stochastic matrix. One of the things that you can see right away that makes this matrix special compared to all two-by-two matrices is that all the columns here have to sum to 1. If you’re in state A, one of two things in this case must happen. You either stay in the state or you transition to another state. There’s no other possibilities, and the probabilities therefore exhaust the space and have to sum to 1. Another feature, of course, of a stochastic matrix is none of these entries can be negative. So stochastic matrices are an interesting sort of subspace of all the possible two-by-two matrices that you will encounter in your life. Once you’ve represented the Markov chain as a stochastic matrix, and I’ll write a particular Markov chain that we have here in this new form, it becomes a simple matter to talk about what happens if you skip observations. If the system jumps 2 time-steps before you see it again, all I do is take this evolution matrix T – sometimes we call it an evolution operator if we’re feeling a little punchy – all we do is take this evolution operator T and multiply it by itself. And now what we have is when this matrix acts on a probability vector it takes it one step in the future. You act on that matrix again on the results of that, and it takes you two steps in the future. And so the Markov chain corresponding to the observation series that’s been coarse-grained in blocks of two, and this is decimation course graining where we take the first observation, we can now write that very simply as the product of this matrix with itself. So I'll write that out for you, and just show you how the first term goes. The probability that if you’re in state A, and you stay in state A two steps later, is equal to this product here: ϵ² + (1 - ϵ)² And we’ll leave these other entries as an exercise, as you please. In words what this says is the probability that if you begin in state A, you’ll be in state A two steps later, is the sum of two possibilities: the first is, of course, if you stay in the state A – if you just stay in the state A on the second time-step, or on the first time-step and the second time-step. So the probability of that happening is ϵ², the probability that you stay in A twice; or the other possibility is that you start in state A on the second time-step you jump to state B, and then you quickly jump back to state A before anybody notices. And that’s the second term here (1 - ϵ)². So now we can see that in some sense it’s a rather trivial problem to see what happens to this matrix as you continue to coarse-grain: if you take blocks of 3, 4, or 5, all you have to do to see the resulting model is raise T to the power that you’re interested in. Here n is now just the block size.