For questions on random walks, a mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of random steps.

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40
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7answers
10k views

Proving that 1- and 2-d simple symmetric random walks return to the origin with probability 1

How does one prove that a simple (steps of length $1$ in directions parallel to the axes) symmetric (each possible direction is equally likely) random walk in $1$ or $2$ dimensions returns to the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Mean distance from origin after $N$ equal steps of Random-Walk in a $d$-dimensional space.

I am looking for a formula that evaluates the mean distance from origin after $N$ equal steps of Random-Walk in a $d$-dimensional space. Such a formula was given by "Henry" to a question by "Diego" ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

Expected Value of Random Walk

Can someone very simply explain to me how to compute the expected distance from the origin for a random walk in $1D, 2D$, and $3D$? I've seen several sources online stating that the expected distance ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

biased random walk on line

Lets say we start at point 1. Each successive point you have a, say, 2/3 chance of increasing your position by 1 and a 1/3 chance of decreasing your position by 1. The walk ends when you reach 0. ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Random walk on $n$-cycle

For a graph $G$, let $W$ be the (random) vertex occupied at the first time the random walk has visited every vertex. That is, $W$ is the last new vertex to be visited by the random walk. Prove the ...
2
votes
1answer
374 views

Probability of asymmetric random walk returning to the origin

Consider the random walk $S_n$ given by $ S_{n+1} = \left\{ \begin{array}{lr} S_n+2 & with & probability & p\\ S_n - 1 & with & probability & 1-p \end{array} ...
1
vote
1answer
473 views

Symmetric random walk with bounds

can anyone help me with this: We are considering a symmetric random walk that ends if level 3 is reached or level -1 is reached. Start=0 What is the expected number of walks? So I am looking for: ...
7
votes
3answers
681 views

Probability a random walk is back at the origin

I have a symmetric random walk that starts at the origin. With probability $1/6$ it goes right by one and with probability $1/6$ it goes left by one. With probability $4/6$ it stays put. After $n$ ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Asymmetric Random Walk / Prove that $T:= \inf\{n: X_n = b\}$ is a $\{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in \mathbb N}$-stopping time

Given random variables $Y_1, Y_2, ... \stackrel{iid}{\sim} P(Y_i = 1) = p = 1 - q = 1 - P(Y_i = -1)$ where $p > q$ in a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in ...
3
votes
1answer
432 views

Random walk $< 0$

Suppose ${X_t}$ is a random walk with mean zero. (either discrete or continuous time) Fix a time $T$. What is: $P[X_t < 0 \text{ for all } t \leq T]$? In words, what's the probability the random ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

1D random walk-probability to go back to origin

Suppose There is a random walk starting in origin while probability to move right is 1/3 and probability to move left 2/3.What is the probability to return to the origin. Thank you
1
vote
1answer
222 views

Returning Paths on Cubic Graphs

Suppose we have a 3-edge-colorable cubic graph with $N$ vertices. How many paths of length $N$ exist that return to its origin? Or putting it differently: What is "Pólya's Random Walk Constant" on ...
5
votes
1answer
694 views

Probability distribution for the position of a biased random walker on the positive integers

I initialize a biased one-dimensional random walk on the positive integers at the origin, $x = 0$, which also serves as a reflecting boundary blocking steps onto the negative integers. Let's say that ...
4
votes
1answer
302 views

Conditional return time of simple random walk

Consider a simple symmetric random walk on $\mathbb{Z}$, $(S_t)_{t \geq 0}$. Call $\tau_k = \min\{t \in \mathbb{N}\, : \, \, S_t =k \}$, the hitting time of $k \in \mathbb{N}$. Call $\tau^* = \min\{t ...
10
votes
1answer
467 views

Is there an intuitive way to see this property of random walks?

For an $n$-step symmetric simple random walk (start at origin 0 and each step 1 unit towards left or right with equal probability,) an interesting fact is that the probability that you stop exactly at ...
4
votes
1answer
607 views

Expectation of $TS_T$ where $T$ is the absorption time at $\{a,-a\}$ of a simple symmetric random walk $\{S_n\}$

I was trying to calculate the expectation of $T^2$ using some martingale and got that I needed the expectation of $TS_T$. Any idea?
2
votes
2answers
296 views

Limit value of a product martingale

This question came from a problem i was solving for self-study. I'll state the problem first: Let $Y_n \sim \mathcal N(0,\sigma^2)$ be independent normally distributed variables, $X_n = ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Asymmetric Random Walk / Prove that $E[T:= \inf\{n: X_n = b\}] < \infty$

Given random variables $Y_1, Y_2, \ldots \stackrel{iid}{\sim} P(Y_i = 1) = p = 1 - q = 1 - P(Y_i = -1)$ where $p > q$ in a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Showing stopping is finite almost surely

Consider a discrete random walk taking values +1 or -1 with probabilities p and q, respectively. Let $S_n = \sum_{k=1}^{n}X_k$. Let $[-A,B]$ be an interval, $A,B \geq 1$. Now define $$\tau =\min(n:n ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Symmetric Random Walk / Prove $S = \inf\{n : X_n = 7\}$ and $T = 10^{12} \wedge S$ are $\{\mathscr F_n^Y\}$-stopping times.

Given a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in \mathbb N}, \mathbb P)$ where $\mathscr F_n = \mathscr F_n^Y$, let $Y_1, Y_2, ...$ be iid random variables w/ $P(Y_n = ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Random Walk Limit Behavior

Suppose $\{ X_t \}$ is a sequence of i.i.d. random variables, with support $\{-1,1\}$ and distribution $P(1)=P(-1)=1/2$. Thus, $S_t = \sum_{s=1}^{t} X_s$ is a zero mean random walk. Also, $S_t$ is a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Expected number of steps in a random walk with a boundary

Let's say I am trying to climb a flight of $N$ stairs. Each time I want to take a step, I flip a fair coin. Heads means I take a step up; tails means I take a step down. If I'm at the bottom of the ...
3
votes
4answers
644 views

Random walking and the expected value

I was asked this question at an interview, and I didn't know how to solve it. Was curious if anyone could help me. Lets say we have a square, with vertex's 1234. I can randomly walk to each ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Expected number of steps till a random walk hits a or -b. [duplicate]

On wikipedia I read that the expected number of steps till a 1D simple random walk hits either $a$ or $-b$ is equal to $ab$. (I have seen this result also on other websites.) However, no proof or ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

probability, random walk, Markov chain question

Let $P$ be a transition matrix for a regular Markov chain and let $w$ be it’s equilibrium vector. Show that $w$ has no zero entries.
0
votes
2answers
338 views

How to check that a sequence of numbers is random? [duplicate]

I have a sequence of numbers like 1,7,22,45,12,96,21,45,65,36,85,14,51,16,18,17,16....65... IS there any formula to check whether the sequence is random or not ? In my case odd numbers are ...
48
votes
1answer
2k views

Identity for simple 1D random walk

The question is to find a purely probabilistic proof of the following identity, valid for every integer $n\geqslant1$, where $(S_n)_{n\geqslant0}$ denotes a standard simple random walk: $$ ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Biased Random Walk and PDF of Time of First Return

I have a random walk process where each step the probability of $+1$ is $p$ and $-1$ is $q$, with $p+q=1$. $p$ may not equal $q$. The walker starts at zero. I want to know the probability that the ...
12
votes
3answers
382 views

Random walk on natural number

Problem: You are standing at the position $0$ on the line of natural numbers $0, 1, 2, ..., n$. From this position you go to $1$ with probability $1$, but from any other position $i$ you go to $i+1$ ...
8
votes
6answers
358 views

simplify summation of factorial (random walk)

I suspect that the expression $$\sum_{n=0}^N \frac{(N-2n)^2}{n!(N-n)!}$$ simplifies to $$\frac{2^N}{(N-1)!}$$ But I cannot find the intermediate steps. Can someone give me a hint how I can deduce ...
8
votes
1answer
158 views

How long until everyone has been in the lead?

Earlier, I asked a question about a series of competitions: A series of matches are held between n identical competitors. Each is won by one of the n with equal probability (no ties). I'm looking ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Show that $P(T \le n + N \mid \mathscr F_n) > \epsilon$ where T is a stopping time

Given random variables $Y_1, Y_2, \ldots \stackrel{iid}{\sim} P(Y_i = 1) = p = 1 - q = 1 - P(Y_i = -1)$ where $p > q$ in a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Expected number of returns to zero in a symmetric random walk - closed form

The expected number of returns of a symmetric random walk is given by $\sum_{k=0}^n \binom{2k}{k} / 2^{2k} -1$ The exercise is to compute an explicit form for this. I tried to do this in the ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Exact probability of collision of two independent random walkers after N steps

Two drunks start together at the origin at $t=0$ and every second they move with equal probability either to the right or to the left, each drunk independently from the other. What is the probability ...
8
votes
1answer
201 views

First player to win k matches

A series of matches are held between n identical competitors. Each is won by one of the n with equal probability (no ties). I'm looking for a probabilistic description of the outcome when looking at ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Recurrence for random walk

I have the following recurrence which I get when trying to solve a random walk problem given a positive integer $x$. $p_i = \dfrac{p_{i-1}}{2} + \dfrac{p_{i+2}}{2}$ if $0< i < x$ $p_i = 1$ if ...
4
votes
1answer
442 views

Random Walk on Z

Let $S_n$ be the symmetric random walk on $\mathbb{Z}$. How do i calculate $P(\limsup_{n\rightarrow\infty} S_n=\infty)$? I already know that the probability is 1 but I don't really know how to start? ...
4
votes
1answer
401 views

Circular random walk

Suppose we have a circumference divided in N arcs of the same length. A particle can move on the circumference jumping from an arc to the adjacent, with probability $P_{k \to k-1}=P_{k\to ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Numerical evidence of law of iterated logarithm (random walk)

The law of iterated logarithm states that for a random walk $$S_n = X_1 + X_2 + ... X_n$$ with $X_i$ independent random variables such that $P(X_i = 1) = P(X_i = 1) = 1/2$, we have $$\limsup_{n ...
3
votes
1answer
217 views

Showing that lim sup of sum of iid binary variables $X_i$ with $P[X_i = 1] = P[X_i = -1] = 1/2$ is a.s. infinite

Let $(X_i)_{i\in\mathbb{N}}$ be an i.i.d. sequence of binary random variables with $$P[X_i = 1]=P[X_i = -1] = \frac{1}{2}$$ and let $$S_n = \sum_{i=1}^{n} X_i.$$ I'd like to show that $$P[\lim ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What are the assumptions for applying Wald's equation with a stopping time

I am trying to understand the assumptions under which I am allowed to apply Wald's equation for a sum of a random number $N$ of random variables $X_n$, $1\leq n\leq N$. There seem to be several ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Random walk problem in the plane

Let a particle in the plane $R^2$ executes random jumps at discrete times $t= 1, 2, ...$. At each step, the particle jumps from the point it is a distance of lenght one. The angle of any new jump ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some martingales for asymmetric random walks?

Here are some examples for symmetric ones: http://mathoverflow.net/questions/55092/martingales-in-both-discrete-and-continuous-setting/55101#55101 Is there a similar list for asymmmetric random ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Reflection principle for simple random walk

Let $(X_n)$ be a sequence of independent random variables, such that $P(X_i=1) = P(X_i=-1) = 1/2$. Then, the reflection principle states that for all $a > 0$, $$P(\max_{1\leq k\leq n} S_k \geq a) ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Expected value of sum of heights of books in a shelf with limited width

This question has arisen from a previous post: Statistical problem: how many books of different widths fit it into a self of a limited certain width? Let's assume that there are $N$ types of books, ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Asymmetric Random Walk / Prove $E[T] = \frac{b}{p-q}$ / How do I use hint?

Given random variables $Y_1, Y_2, \ldots \stackrel{\mathrm{iid}}{\sim} P(Y_i = 1) = p = 1 - q = 1 - P(Y_i = -1)$ where $p > q$ in a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Asymmetric Random Walk / Prove $E[X_{T \wedge n}] = (p-q)E[T \wedge n]$

Given random variables $Y_1, Y_2, ... \stackrel{iid}{\sim} P(Y_i = 1) = p = 1 - q = 1 - P(Y_i = -1)$ where $p > q$ in a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Symmetric Random Walk / Find $E[X_S]$ and $E[X_T]$

Given a filtered probability space $(\Omega, \mathscr F, \{\mathscr F_n\}_{n \in \mathbb N}, \mathbb P)$ where $\mathscr F_n = \mathscr F_n^Y$, let $Y_1, Y_2, ...$ be iid random variables w/ $P(Y_n = ...
0
votes
1answer
222 views

Random walk with zero drift

Let $X_{k+1} = X_k+\xi_k$ be a random walk on $\Bbb R$ starting from $0$ and such that $\mathsf E\xi_0 = 0$, $\mathsf{Var}[\xi_0]>0$. Is that true that $$ -\infty = ...
0
votes
2answers
343 views

Gambler's Ruin with varying probabilities

Consider a random walk $X_j$ on $\mathbf{Z}$ that starts at $X_0 = k \in \{1, 2, \dots, N-1\}$. Let $T$ be the random time defined by $T = \min \{j | X_j \in \{0,N\}\}$ . Then if ...