Synopses & Reviews
Focusing on a number of problems related to the intersection of random walks and the self-avoiding walk. Many of these problems arise in studying statistical physics and other critical phenomena. Topics covered include: discrete harmonic measure; the probability that independent random walks do not intersect; and properties of walks without self-intersections. With the inclusion of a self-contained introduction to the properties of simple random walks, and an emphasis on rigorous results, this text should be of use to researchers in probability and statistical physics, and to graduate students interested in basic properties of random walk.
Review
"Much of the material is Lawler's own research, so he knows his story thoroughly and tells it well." --SIAM Review
Synopsis
A more accurate title for this book would be "Problems dealing with the non-intersection of paths of random walks. " These include: harmonic measure, which can be considered as a problem of nonintersection of a random walk with a fixed set; the probability that the paths of independent random walks do not intersect; and self-avoiding walks, i. e., random walks which have no self-intersections. The prerequisite is a standard measure theoretic course in probability including martingales and Brownian motion. The first chapter develops the facts about simple random walk that will be needed. The discussion is self-contained although some previous expo- sure to random walks would be helpful. Many of the results are standard, and I have made borrowed from a number of sources, especially the ex- cellent book of Spitzer 65]. For the sake of simplicity I have restricted the discussion to simple random walk. Of course, many of the results hold equally well for more general walks. For example, the local central limit theorem can be proved for any random walk whose increments have mean zero and finite variance. Some of the later results, especially in Section 1. 7, have not been proved for very general classes of walks. The proofs here rely heavily on the fact that the increments of simple random walk are bounded and symmetric.