We consider a discretized version of the quenched Edwards–Wilkinson model for the propagation of a driven interface through a random field of obstacles. Our model consists of a system of ordinary differential equations on a $d$-dimensional lattice coupled by the discrete Laplacian. At each lattice point, the system is subject to a constant driving force and a random obstacle force impeding free propagation. The obstacle force depends on the current state of the solution, and thus renders the problem nonlinear. For independent and identically distributed obstacle strengths with an exponential moment, we prove ballistic propagation (i.e., propagation with a positive velocity) of the interface if the driving force is large enough. For a specific case of dependent obstacles, we show that no stationary solution exists, but still the propagation of the front is not ballistic.
"Ballistic and sub-ballistic motion of interfaces in a field of random obstacles." Ann. Appl. Probab. 27 (5) 3189 - 3200, October 2017. https://doi.org/10.1214/17-AAP1279