Record Statistics for Multiple Random Walks

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

Physical Review E 86 (2012) 011119

We study the statistics of the number of records R_{n,N} for N identical and independent symmetric discrete-time random walks of n steps in one dimension, all starting at the origin at step 0. At each time step, each walker jumps by a random length drawn independently from a symmetric and continuous distribution. We consider two cases: (I) when the variance \sigma^2 of the jump distribution is finite and (II) when \sigma^2 is divergent as in the case of Lévy flights with index 0 < \mu < 2. In both cases we find that the mean record number grows universally as \sim \alpha_N \sqrt{n} for large n, but with a very different behavior of the amplitude \alpha_N for N > 1 in the two cases. We find that for large N, \alpha_N \approx 2 \sqrt{\log N} independently of \sigma^2 in case I. In contrast, in case II, the amplitude approaches to an N-independent constant for large N, \alpha_N \approx 4/\sqrt{\pi}, independently of 0<\mu<2. For finite \sigma^2 we argue, and this is confirmed by our numerical simulations, that the full distribution of (R_{n,N}/\sqrt{n} - 2 \sqrt{\log N}) \sqrt{\log N} converges to a Gumbel law as n \to \infty and N \to \infty. In case II, our numerical simulations indicate that the distribution of R_{n,N}/\sqrt{n} converges, for n \to \infty and N \to \infty, to a universal nontrivial distribution, independently of \mu. We discuss the applications of our results to the study of the record statistics of 366 daily stock prices from the Standard & Poors 500 index.

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