Regenerative Structure of Markov Chains Simulated via Common Random Numbers

P. W. Glynn

Operations Research Letters, Vol. 4,  49-53 (1985)

A standard strategy in simulation, for comparing two stochastic systems, is to use a common sequence of random numbers to drive both systems. Since regenerative output analysis of the steady-state of a system requires that the process be regenerative, it is of interest to derive conditions under which the method of common random numbers yields a regenerative process. It is shown here that if the stochastic systems are positive recurrent Markov chains with countable state space, then the coupled system is necessarily regenerative; in fact, we allow couplings more general than those induced by common random numbers. An example is given which shows that the regenerative property can fail to hold in general state space, even if the individual systems are regenerative.