This Review concerns recent results on the quantitative study of convergence toward the stationary state for spatially inhomogeneous kinetic equations. We focus on analytical results obtained by means of certain probabilistic techniques from the ergodic theory of Markov processes. These techniques are sometimes referred to as Harris-type theorems. They provide constructive proofs for convergence results in the L1 (or total variation) setting for a large class of initial data. The convergence rates can be made explicit (for both geometric and sub-geometric rates) by tracking the constants appearing in the hypotheses. Harris-type theorems are particularly well-adapted for equations exhibiting non-explicit and non-equilibrium steady states since they do not require prior information on the existence of stationary states. This allows for significant improvements of some already-existing results by relaxing assumptions and providing explicit convergence rates. We aim to present Harris-type theorems, providing a guideline on how to apply these techniques to kinetic equations at hand. We discuss recent quantitative results obtained for kinetic equations in gas theory and mathematical biology, giving some perspectives on potential extensions to nonlinear equations.
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