Universal Record Statistics of Random Walks and Lévy Flights

Satya N. Majumdar 1, Robert M. Ziff 2

Physical Review Letters 101 (2008) 050601

It is shown that statistics of records for time series generated by random walks are independent of the details of the jump distribution, as long as the latter is continuous and symmetric. In N steps, the mean of the record distribution grows as the sqrt(4N/pi) while the standard deviation grows as sqrt((2-4/pi) N), so the distribution is non-self-averaging. The mean shortest and longest duration records grow as sqrt(N/pi) and 0.626508... N, respectively. The case of a discrete random walker is also studied, and similar asymptotic behavior is found.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics and Department of chemical Engineering,
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor