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January, 1990 Random Tree-Type Partitions as a Model for Acyclic Polymerization: Holtsmark (3/2-Stable) Distribution of the Supercritical Gel
B. Pittel, W. A. Woyczynski, J. A. Mann
Ann. Probab. 18(1): 319-341 (January, 1990). DOI: 10.1214/aop/1176990951


Random tree-type partitions for finite sets are used as a model of a chemical polymerization process when ring formation is forbidden. Technically, our series of three papers studies the asymptotic behavior (in the thermodynamic limit as $n \rightarrow \infty$) of a particular probability distribution on the set of all forests of trees on a set of $n$ elements (monomers). The study rigorously establishes the existence of three stages of polymerization dependent upon the ratio of association and dissociation rates of monomers. The subcritical stage has been analyzed in the other two papers of this series. The present paper, second in the series, concentrates on the analysis of the near-critical and supercritical stages. In the supercritical stage we discover that the molecular weight of the largest connected component (gel) has the Holtsmark distribution. Our study combines elements of a classical Flory-Stockmayer polymerization theory with the spirit of more recent developments in the Erdos-Renyi theory of random graphs. Although this paper has a chemical motivation, conceptually similar mathematical models have been found useful in other disciplines, such as computer science and biology, etc.


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B. Pittel. W. A. Woyczynski. J. A. Mann. "Random Tree-Type Partitions as a Model for Acyclic Polymerization: Holtsmark (3/2-Stable) Distribution of the Supercritical Gel." Ann. Probab. 18 (1) 319 - 341, January, 1990.


Published: January, 1990
First available in Project Euclid: 19 April 2007

zbMATH: 0743.60110
MathSciNet: MR1043950
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/aop/1176990951

Primary: 60J25
Secondary: 60K35 , 82A51

Keywords: Gaussian and 3/2-stable limit behavior , Markov process , near critical , phase transition , polymerization , Random trees , stationary distribution , supercritical

Rights: Copyright © 1990 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.18 • No. 1 • January, 1990
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