Universal survival probability for a correlated random walk and applications to records – Archive ouverte HAL

Bertrand Lacroix-A-Chez-Toine 1 Francesco Mori 2

Bertrand Lacroix-A-Chez-Toine, Francesco Mori. Universal survival probability for a correlated random walk and applications to records. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, IOP Publishing, 2020. ⟨hal-03085067⟩

We consider a model of space-continuous one-dimensional random walk with simple correlation between the steps: the probability that two consecutive steps have same sign is $q$ with $0\leq q\leq 1$. The parameter $q$ allows thus to control the persistence of the random walk. We compute analytically the survival probability of a walk of $n$ steps, showing that it is independent of the jump distribution for any finite $n$. This universality is a consequence of the Sparre-Andersen theorem for random walks with uncorrelated and symmetric steps. We then apply this result to derive the distribution of the step at which the random walk reaches its maximum and the record statistics of the walk, which show the same universality. In particular, we show that the distribution of the number of records for a walk of $n\gg 1$ steps is the same as for a random walk with $n_{\rm eff}(q)=n/(2(1-q))$ uncorrelated and symmetrically distributed steps. We also show that in the regime where $n\to \infty$ and $q\to 1$ with $y=n(1-q)$, this model converges to the run-and-tumble particle, a persistent random walk often used to model the motion of bacteria. Our theoretical results are confirmed by numerical simulations.

  • 1. Weizmann Institute of Science [Rehovot, Israël]
  • 2. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques