DMTCS Proceedings, Discrete Random Walks, DRW'03

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Osculating Random Walks on Cylinders

Saibal Mitra, Bernard Nienhuis


We consider random paths on a square lattice which take a left or a right turn at every vertex. The possible turns are taken with equal probability, except at a vertex which has been visited before. In such case the vertex is left via the unused edge. When the initial edge is reached the path is considered completed. We also consider families of such paths which together cover every edge of the lattice once and visit every vertex twice. Because these paths may touch but not intersect each other and themselves, we call them osculating walks. The ensemble of such families is also known as the dense O(n=1) model. We consider in particular such paths in a cylindrical geometry, with the cylindrical axis parallel with one of the lattice directions. We formulate a conjecture for the probability that a face of the lattice is surrounded by m distinct osculating paths. For even system sizes we give a conjecture for the probability that a path winds round the cylinder. For odd system sizes we conjecture the probability that a point is visited by a path spanning the infinite length of the cylinder. Finally we conjecture an expression for the asymptotics of a binomial determinant

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