## Eigenvalues of non-reversible Markov chains – A case study

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-62191
• Finite reversible Markov chains are characterized by a transition matrix P that has real eigenvalues and pi-orthogonal eigenvectors, where pi is the stationary distribution of P. This means, that a transition matrix with complex eigenvalues corresponds to a non-reversible Markov chain. This observation leads to the question, whether the imaginary part of that eigendecomposition corresponds to or indicates the “pattern” of the nonreversibility. This article shows that the direct relation between imaginary parts of eigendecompositions and the non-reversibility of a transition matrix is not given. It is proposed to apply the Schur decomposition of P instead of the eigendecomposition in order to characterize its nonreversibility.