## 60J25 Continuous-time Markov processes on general state spaces

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The funnel trap paradox
(2012)

In this article, an illustrative example is given for the coarse-graining of a
Markov process which leads to a shift in the statistical weights of a two-states-system.
The example is based on a 2D-funnel trap. The funnel trap is constructed in such a
way, that the area inside and outside of the trap is identical. However, observing the
flight of the insect as a Markov process, the probability for being “in the trap” is higher.
This example can be transferred to several kinds of processes (like receptor-ligandbinding
processes in chemistry) and describes the influence of “re-entering events”.

Supercomputers can simulate complex molecular systems. However, there is a very large gap between the fastest oscillations of covalent bonds of a molecule and the time-scale of the dominant processes. In order to extract the dominant time-scales and to identify the dominant processes, a clustering of information is needed. This thesis shows that only the subspace-based Robust Perron Cluster Analysis (PCCA+) can solve this problem correctly by the construction of a Markov State Model. PCCA+ allows for time-extrapolation in molecular kinetics. This thesis shows the difference between molecular dynamics and molecular kinetics. Only in the molecular kinetics framework a definition of transition rates is possible. In this context, the existence of an infinitesimal generator of the dynamical processes is discussed. If the existence is assumed, the Theorem of Gauß can be applied in order to compute transition rates efficiently. Molecular dynamics, however, is not able to provide a suitable statistical basis for the determination of the transition pattern.

The article surveys the development of novel mathematical concepts and algorithmic approaches based thereon in view of their possible applicability to biomolecular design. Both a first deterministic approach, based on the Frobenius-Perron operator corresponding to the flow of the Hamiltonian dynamics, and later stochastic approaches, based on a spatial Markov operator or on Langevin dynamics, can be subsumed under the unified mathematical roof of the transfer operator approach to effective dynamics of molecular systems. The key idea of constructing specific transfer operators especially taylored for the purpose of conformational dynamics appears as the red line throughout the paper. Different steps of the algorithm are exemplified by a trinucleotide molecular system as a small representative of possible RNA drug molecules.

The function of many important biomolecules is related to their dynamic properties and their ability to switch between different {\em conformations}, which are understood as {\em almost invariant} or {\em metastable} subsets of the positional state space of the system. Recently, the present authors and their coworkers presented a novel algorithmic scheme for the direct numerical determination of such metastable subsets and the transition probability between them. Although being different in most aspects, this method exploits the same basic idea as {\sc Dellnitz} and {\sc Junge} in their approach to almost invariance in discrete dynamical systems: the almost invariant sets are computed via certain eigenvectors of the Markov operators associated with the dynamical behavior. In the present article we analyze the application of this approach to (high--friction) Langevin models describing the dynamical behavior of molecular systems coupled to a heat bath. We will see that this can be related to theoretical results for (symmetric) semigroups of Markov operators going back to {\sc Davies}. We concentrate on a comparison of our approach in respect to random perturbations of dynamical systems.