Combinatorial trees can be used to represent genealogies of asexual individuals. These individuals can be endowed with birth and death times, to obtain a so-called ‘chronological tree’. In this work, we are interested in the continuum analogue of chronological trees in the setting of real trees. This leads us to consider totally ordered and measured trees, abbreviated as TOM trees. First, we define an adequate space of TOM trees and prove that under some mild conditions, every compact TOM tree can be represented in a unique way by a so-called contour function, which is right-continuous, admits limits from the left and has non-negative jumps. The appropriate notion of contour function is also studied in the case of locally compact TOM trees. Then we study the splitting property of (measures on) TOM trees which extends the notion of ‘splitting tree’ studied in [Lam10], where during her lifetime, each individual gives birth at constant rate to independent and identically distributed copies of herself. We prove that the contour function of a TOM tree satisfying the splitting property is associated to a spectrally positive Lévy process that is not a subordinator, both in the critical and subcritical cases of compact trees as well as in the supercritical case of locally compact trees. The genealogical trees associated to splitting trees are the celebrated Lévy trees in the subcritical case and they will be analyzed in the supercritical case in forthcoming work.
"Totally ordered measured trees and splitting trees with infinite variation." Electron. J. Probab. 23 1 - 41, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1214/18-EJP251