We consider a random forest \$$\mathcal{F}^*\$$, defined as a sequence of i.i.d. birth-death (BD) trees, each started at time 0 from a single ancestor, stopped at the first tree having survived up to a fixed time \$$T\$$. We denote by \$$\left(\xi^*_t, 0\leq t \leq T \right)\$$ the population size process associated to this forest, and we prove that if the BD trees are supercritical, then the time-reversed process \$$\left(\xi^*_{T-t}, 0 \leq t \leq T\right)\$$, has the same distribution as \$$\left(\widetilde\xi^*_t, 0 \leq t \leq T\right)\$$, the corresponding population size process of an equally defined forest \$$\widetilde{\mathcal{F}}^*\$$, but where the underlying BD trees are subcritical, obtained by swapping birth and death rates or equivalently, conditioning on ultimate extinction. We generalize this result to splitting trees (i.e. life durations of individuals are not necessarily exponential), provided that the i.i.d. lifetimes of the ancestors have a specific explicit distribution, different from that of their descendants. The results are based on an identity between the contour of these random forests truncated up to \$$T\$$ and the duality property of L\'evy processes. This identity allows us to also derive other useful properties such as the distribution of the population size process conditional on the reconstructed tree of individuals alive at \$$T\$$, which has potential applications in epidemiology.

@article{davila_felipe_miraine_time_2015,

Author = {{Dávila Felipe, Miraine} and {Lambert, Amaury}},

Title = {Time {Reversal} {Dualities} for some {Random}

{Forests}},

Journal = {ALEA Latin American Journal of Probability and

Mathematical Statistics},

Volume = {12},

Number = {1},

Pages = {399--426},

abstract = {We consider a random forest

\$\mathcal{F}^*\$, defined as a sequence

of i.i.d. birth-death (BD) trees, each started at time

0 from a single ancestor, stopped at the first tree

having survived up to a fixed time \$T\$. We denote by

\$\left(\xi^*_t, 0\leq t \leq T \right)\$

the population size process associated to this forest,

and we prove that if the BD trees are supercritical,

then the time-reversed process

\$\left(\xi^*_{T-t}, 0 \leq t \leq T\right)\$, has the same distribution as

\$\left(\widetilde\xi^*_t, 0 \leq t \leq T\right)\$,

the corresponding population

size process of an equally defined forest

\$\widetilde{\mathcal{F}}^*\$,

but where the underlying BD trees are subcritical,

obtained by swapping birth and death rates or

equivalently, conditioning on ultimate extinction. We

generalize this result to splitting trees (i.e. life

durations of individuals are not necessarily

exponential), provided that the i.i.d. lifetimes of the

ancestors have a specific explicit distribution,

different from that of their descendants. The results

are based on an identity between the contour of these

random forests truncated up to \$T\$ and the duality

property of L\'evy processes. This identity allows us

to also derive other useful properties such as the

distribution of the population size process conditional

on the reconstructed tree of individuals alive at

\$T\$, which has potential applications in

epidemiology.},

url = {http://alea.impa.br/articles/v12/12-16.pdf},

year = 2015

}