The Annals of Probability

Edge- and vertex-reinforced random walks with super-linear reinforcement on infinite graphs

Codina Cotar and Debleena Thacker

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In this paper, we introduce a new simple but powerful general technique for the study of edge- and vertex-reinforced processes with super-linear reinforcement, based on the use of order statistics for the number of edge, respectively of vertex, traversals. The technique relies on upper bound estimates for the number of edge traversals, proved in a different context by Cotar and Limic [Ann. Appl. Probab. 19 (2009) 1972–2007] for finite graphs with edge reinforcement. We apply our new method both to edge- and to vertex-reinforced random walks with super-linear reinforcement on arbitrary infinite connected graphs of bounded degree. We stress that, unlike all previous results for processes with super-linear reinforcement, we make no other assumption on the graphs.

For edge-reinforced random walks, we complete the results of Limic and Tarrès [Ann. Probab. 35 (2007) 1783–1806] and we settle a conjecture of Sellke (1994) by showing that for any reciprocally summable reinforcement weight function $w$, the walk traverses a random attracting edge at all large times.

For vertex-reinforced random walks, we extend results previously obtained on $\mathbb{Z}$ by Volkov [Ann. Probab. 29 (2001) 66–91] and by Basdevant, Schapira and Singh [Ann. Probab. 42 (2014) 527–558], and on complete graphs by Benaim, Raimond and Schapira [ALEA Lat. Am. J. Probab. Math. Stat. 10 (2013) 767–782]. We show that on any infinite connected graph of bounded degree, with reinforcement weight function $w$ taken from a general class of reciprocally summable reinforcement weight functions, the walk traverses two random neighbouring attracting vertices at all large times.

Article information

Ann. Probab., Volume 45, Number 4 (2017), 2655-2706.

Received: September 2015
Revised: April 2016
First available in Project Euclid: 11 August 2017

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Digital Object Identifier

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 60G50: Sums of independent random variables; random walks 60J10: Markov chains (discrete-time Markov processes on discrete state spaces)
Secondary: 60K35: Interacting random processes; statistical mechanics type models; percolation theory [See also 82B43, 82C43]

Edge-reinforced random walk vertex-reinforced random walk super-linear (strong) reinforcement attraction set order statistics Rubin’s construction bipartite graphs


Cotar, Codina; Thacker, Debleena. Edge- and vertex-reinforced random walks with super-linear reinforcement on infinite graphs. Ann. Probab. 45 (2017), no. 4, 2655--2706. doi:10.1214/16-AOP1122.

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