# THE DYING FIBONACCI TREE. 1. Introduction. Consider a tree with two types of nodes, say A and B, and the following properties:

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1 THE DYING FIBONACCI TREE BERNHARD GITTENBERGER 1. Introduction Consider a tree with two types of nodes, say A and B, and the following properties: 1. Let the root be of type A.. Each node of type A produces exactly one descendent of each type with probability p and no descendent with probability 1 p. 3. Nodes of type B produce one descendent of type A with probability p and no descendent with probability 1 p. If p = 1 then the resulting tree is the Fibonacci tree. It can easily be verified that the number of A s in the n-th layer equals the n-th Fibonacci number F n and the number of B s equals F n 1. Let A n and B n denote the number of A s and B s, respectively, in the first n layers of the tree. Then we have A n A n + B n = n i=1 F i n+1 i= F i = 1 F n+1 F 1 n+1 i= F i Using the well known representation of the Fibonacci numbers F n = α n α n )/ 5 where α = 1 + 5)/ we immediately get A n α n+1 α n 1 α + 1/α = 1 A n + B n α 1 α n ) α 1 1 α n ))/1 α) α = 1) We are interested in the distribution of the number of A s and B s conditioned on the total number of nodes for the case p < 1. In this case there occur trees with a finite number of nodes with positive probability and due to 1) we might conjecture that the ratio A n /A n + B n ) behaves similarly for trees conditioned on the tree size to be n if p is close to 1. This is the topic of the next section. The last section is devoted to the connection between the dying Fibonacci tree and branching processes Mathematics Subject Classification. 05C05. Institut für Algebra und Diskrete Mathematik, TU Wien, Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10/118, A-1040 Wien, AUSTRIA. 1

2 BERNHARD GITTENBERGER. The number of type A nodes in the dying Fibonacci tree We will consider now the case p < 1. Let T denote a dying Fibonacci tree, T A and T B the number of A s and B s, respectively, and T the total number of nodes. Set a nm = P {T A = n, T B = m} and q = 1 p. Let Au, v) = n,m 0 a nmu n v m be the probability generating function associated to a nm. Furthermore let Bu, v) be the analogous generating function for trees that start with a root of type B. Due to the construction of the dying Fibonacci tree we have the following relations between Au, v) and Bu, v): Au, v) = uq + pau, v)bu, v)) Bu, v) = vq + pau, v)) and thus From this we get Au, v) = uq + vpqau, v) + vp A u, v)). Theorem.1. The probability that a tree with exactly n A s and exactly m B s occurs is given by P {T A = n, T B = m} = 1 ) ) n m p n 1 q m+1 n m n m 1 Proof. The above probability is given by the coefficients a nm which may be determined explicitly by means of Lagrange s inversion formula. We have [u n ]Au, v) = 1 n [zn 1 ]q + vpqz + vp z ) n. This implies and we are done. [u n v m ]Au, v) = 1 n [zn 1 v m ]q + vpqz + vp z ) n = 1 ) n n [zn 1 ] q n m p m qz + pz ) m m = 1 ) n q n m p m [z n 1 m ]q + pz) m n m = 1 ) ) n m p n 1 q m+1 n m n m 1

3 THE DYING FIBONACCI TREE 3 The distribution of the number of A s in trees of size n is given by a m,n m i+j=n a. ij In order to get some information on the behavior of these quantities we modify the generating function Au, v) to Axu, x) such that it keeps track on the number of A s and the tree size and use as a lemma the following result of Drmota[]: Lemma.1. Let Ax, u) = n,k 0 a nkx n u k = n 0 ϕ nu)x n be a generating function of nonnegative numbers a n,k such that there are n 1, n, n 3, k 1 < k < k 3 with a n1k 1 a nk a n3k 3 > 0 and gcdk 3 k, k k 1 ) = 1. Set d = gcd{n l : ϕ n u) 0} where l = min{m > 0 : ϕ m u) 0}. Furthermore let Ax, u) satisfy a functional equation A = F A, x, u) where the expansion F A, x, u) = f ijk A i x j u k has non-negative coefficients and suppose that the system of equations A = F A, x, u) 1 = F A A, x, u) has positive solutions A = f 1 u), x = f u) for u [a, b] such that f 1 u), f u), u) are regular points of F A, x, u). In addition suppose that F x f 1 u), f u), u) and F AA f 1 u), f u), u) are positive. Then we have a nk = d ghk/n)) πn σhk/n)) 1 hk/n) k f hk/n)) n uniformly for k/n [µa), µb)] and n lmod d, where 1 + O n 1/)) [ xfx gu) = F AA [ ufu µu) = xf x and hu) is the inverse function of µu). ] f 1 u), f u), u)) 1/, ] f 1 u), f u), u), If 1 a, b) then discrete random variables X n with P {X n = k} = a nk /ϕ n 1) are asymptotically normal with mean EX n = µ1)n + O 1) and variance O n). Furthermore we have ϕ n 1) = d π g1)f 1) n n 3/ 1 + O n 1) ), as n. ) As a consequence we get

4 4 BERNHARD GITTENBERGER Theorem.. Let T be a dying Fibonacci tree and p close to 1. Then the distritbution of the random variable T A /n conditioned on T = n is asymptotically normal with mean value µ = q1/3 + O q /3)). and variance O 1/n). Besides, we have P { T = n} = g π ρ n n 3/ 1 + O n 1) ) where and g = q q1/3 + O q /3)), as q 0, 3) ρ = q 3 3 q1/3 + O q /3)), as q 0. Remark. This means that for p close to 1 large Fibonacci trees contain about twice as many type A nodes as type B nodes and so the conjecture stated in the introduction, namely that the ratio will be close to the golden ratio, is surprisingly false. Proof. Obviously, Axu, x) satisfies the functional equation Thus we have to show that the system A = F A, x, u) = xuq + x upqa + x up A. A = xuq + x upqa + x up A 1 = x upq + x up A has positive solution A = f 1 u) and x = f u) for u a, b) for some interval a, b). As the first equation is quadratic in A we can get an explicit expression for A: A = 1 x upqa x 4 p q u 4x 3 p qu x pqu + 1 x up A The second equation means that we have to set the discriminant equal to zero: x 4 p q u 4x 3 p qu x pqu + 1 = 0. 4) Note that the left hand side is positive if x = 0 and negative if u = 1 and x = 1/ pq. Thus there exists a positive root of the above equation if u lies near 1. Consequently there exists an interval a, b) containing 1 such that for u a, b) the above system has positive solutions

5 THE DYING FIBONACCI TREE 5 f 1 and f. Furthermore, it is easy to verify that the other assumptions of Lemma.1 are also fulfilled. Thus the number of A s in trees of size n is asymptotically normally distributed with mean µ1) and variance O n 1). Now let us study the mean in detail, especially for p tending to 1. We have already seen that x = O 1/ pq ). If q tends to zero then p q/ pq) 3 while the other terms of 4) remain bounded. Thus x = o1/ pq). This implies that the third order term is the dominant one and we get x = y, as q 0, 3 4p q where y = 1 + w with w = o1). Using this and keeping in mind that y k = 1 + kw + O w ) and that p = 1 + O q) we get ) 1 q q y 3 y 3 y = 0 = 1 3 q q 4 4 3w 3 + ow) = 0 q = w Set s = 3 q/. We will now use this information to get a better asymptotic result via bootstrapping as demonstrated by de Bruijn[1]. We have = s w + O w ) )s 3w 3w + O w 3) 1 + w + O w ) )s = 0 4 3w 3w s sw + O w 3) = 0 = w + w 1 + s ) s3 s O s 3) = 0 Solving the quadratic equation yields w = s s + O s 3) and consequently x = q 4q q O q) q = q 3 ) + O q /3)), as q 0. 5) Since A = 1 x pqa x p A

6 6 BERNHARD GITTENBERGER we get A = 1 1 q1/3 3 q1/ O q /3)) q /3 3 1 q1/ O q /3)) = 3 q q1/3 + O q /3)), as q 0. 6) The mean value µ1) we are searching for is given by [ ] ufu A µ1) = Ax1), 1), x1), 1) = xf x xq + x pqa + x p A Using the asymptotic expansions for x and A we get µ1) = q1/3 + O q /3)). The second statement is an immediate consequence of ): Note that [ ] 1/ xfx g1) = f 1 1), f 1), 1)), F AA q + xa + xa = 1 + O q)) x and thus inserting 5) and 6) we obtain 3). 3. The dying Fibonacci tree and branching processes This section is devoted to the connection between the dying Fibonacci tree and branching processes. We will first present a few basic facts of the theory of branching processes. The reader who is interested in detail may e.g. consult [3]. Consider a particle that produces ξ children after one time unit and assume that ξ is a random variable on the natural numbers. Denote by Z i the number of particles of the i-th generation thus Z 0 = 1). The stochastic process Z n ; n 0) is called branching process if the following conditions are fulfilled: 1. The value of Z n+1 only depends on Z n, i.e. Z n ; n 0) is a Markov chain.. The numbers of children of the particles are independent and identically distributed with the distribution of ξ. Let ξ k = P {ξ = k} = P {Z 1 = k}. Then the probability generating function associated to the branching process is fz) = ξ k z k k 0

7 THE DYING FIBONACCI TREE 7 and EZ 1 = f 1). Depending on the value of f 1) three classes of branching processes can be distinguished: If f 1) < 1 then the process is called subcritical, for f 1) > 1 it is called supercritical and for f 1) = 1 it is called critical. For subcritical processes we have EZ n 0, in the supercritical case EZ n holds and in the critical case we have EZ n = 1. The total number of particles that is produced is called the total progeny. It can be shown that P {total progeny = n} tends to zero polynomially if the process is critical and exponentially otherwise. If a branching process consists of several types of particles then a similar situation occurs. Let a ij be the expectation of the number of particles of type j produced by a particle of type i. Then the indicator for criticality is the largest positive eigenvalue ρ of the matrix a ij ). If ρ < 1 the process is subcritical and the expected generation sizes tend to zero. For ρ > 1 the process is supercritical and for ρ = 1 it is critical. P {total progeny = n} behaves in the same way as for single type branching processes. The dying Fibonacci tree may obviously be regarded as a branching process with two types of particles. Now let us examine for which p the dying Fibonacci tree is a critical branching process. The matrix of the expectations a ij is given by and the eigenvalues are the solutions of p p p 0 ) λ pλ p = 0. Thus the largest positive eigenvalue is p1 + 5)/. This implies that the dying Fibonacci tree yields a critical branching process if and only if p equals the golden ratio. This fits also with the behaviour of the total progeny: We have by Lemma.1 P {total progeny = n} = ϕ n 1) = 1 π x1) n n 3/ and p = 5 1)/ is the only value for which x1) = 1 as can easily be seen by setting x = 1 and u = 1 in 4). Let us investigate the expected number of type A particles if p is the golden ratio. It is easy to see that Ax1), 1) = 1 and xf x = 1 p + p1 p) + p = 1 + p and thus we get

8 8 BERNHARD GITTENBERGER Theorem 3.1. The dying Fibonacci tree yields a critical branching process if and only if p equals the golden ratio and in this case the ratio of the number of type A nodes and the total number of nodes conditioned on the total progeny tends to the golden ratio. References [1] N. G. de Bruijn, Asymptotic Methods in Analysis, North Holland, [] M. Drmota, Asymptotic distributions and a multivariate Darboux method in enumeration problems, J. Comb. Theory, Ser. A, 67, 1994), [3] B.A. Sevastyanov, Verzweigungsprozesse, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1974.

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