Summary and Info
The concept of symmetric space is of central importance in many branches of mathematics. Compactifications of these spaces have been studied from the points of view of representation theory, geometry, and random walks. This work is devoted to the study of the interrelationships among these various compactifications and, in particular, focuses on the martin compactifications. It is the first exposition to treat compactifications of symmetric spaces systematically and to uniformized the various points of view.Key features:* definition and detailed analysis of the Martin compactifications* new geometric Compactification, defined in terms of the Tits building, that coincides with the Martin Compactification at the bottom of the positive spectrum.* geometric, non-inductive, description of the Karpelevic Compactification* study of the well-know isomorphism between the Satake compactifications and the Furstenberg compactifications* systematic and clear progression of topics from geometry to analysis, and finally to random walksThe work is largely self-contained, with comprehensive references to the literature. It is an excellent resource for both researchers and graduate students.