Boundary Representations of λ-Harmonic and Polyharmonic Functions on Trees

Angelo Massimo Picardello, Wolfgang Woess

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On a countable tree T, allowing vertices with infinite degree, we consider an arbitrary stochastic irreducible nearest neighbour transition operator P. We provide a boundary integral representation for general eigenfunctions of P with eigenvalue λ ∈ C. This is possible whenever λ is in the resolvent set of P as a self-adjoint operator on a suitable ℓ2-space and the diagonal elements of the resolvent (“Green function”) do not vanish at λ. We show that when P is invariant under a transitive (not necessarily fixed-point-free) group action, the latter condition holds for all λ≠ 0 in the resolvent set. These results extend and complete previous results by Cartier, by Figà-Talamanca and Steger, and by Woess. For those eigenvalues, we also provide an integral representation of λ-polyharmonic functions of any order n, that is, functions f:T→C for which (λ ⋅ I − P)nf = 0. This is a far-reaching extension of work of Cohen et al., who provided such a representation for the simple random walk on a homogeneous tree and eigenvalue λ = 1. Finally, we explain the (much simpler) analogous results for “forward only” transition operators, sometimes also called martingales on trees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 541-561
JournalPotential analysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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