Record statistics and persistence for a random walk with a drift

Satya N. Majumdar 1, Gregory Schehr 1, Gregor Wergen 2

Journal of Physics A General Physics 45 (2012) 355002

We study the statistics of records of a one-dimensional random walk of n steps, starting from the origin, and in presence of a constant bias c. At each time-step the walker makes a random jump of length \eta drawn from a continuous distribution f(\eta) which is symmetric around a constant drift c. We focus in particular on the case were f(\eta) is a symmetric stable law with a Lévy index 0 < \mu \leq 2. The record statistics depends crucially on the persistence probability which, as we show here, exhibits different behaviors depending on the sign of c and the value of the parameter \mu. Hence, in the limit of a large number of steps n, the record statistics is sensitive to these parameters (c and \mu) of the jump distribution. We compute the asymptotic mean record number after n steps as well as its full distribution P(R,n). We also compute the statistics of the ages of the longest and the shortest lasting record. Our exact computations show the existence of five distinct regions in the (c, 0 < \mu \leq 2) strip where these quantities display qualitatively different behaviors. We also present numerical simulation results that verify our analytical predictions.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Institut für Theoretische Physik,
    Universität zu Köln