A random walk is a mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of random steps. For example, the price of a fluctuating stock and the financial status of a gambler can all be modeled as random walks, although they may not be truly random in reality. The term random walk was first introduced by Karl Pearson in 1905.

Random walks have been used in many fields: ecology, economics, psychology, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology. Random walks explain the observed behaviors of processes in these fields, and thus serve as a fundamental model for the recorded stochastic activity.

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