Open Access
2007 Asymptotic Evolution of Acyclic Random Mappings
Steven Evans, Tye Lidman
Author Affiliations +
Electron. J. Probab. 12: 1051-1180 (2007). DOI: 10.1214/EJP.v12-437


An acyclic mapping from an $n$ element set into itself is a mapping $\varphi$ such that if $\varphi^k(x) = x$ for some $k$ and $x$, then $\varphi(x) = x$. Equivalently, $\varphi^\ell = \varphi^{\ell+1} = \ldots$ for $\ell$ sufficiently large. We investigate the behavior as $n \rightarrow \infty$ of a sequence of a Markov chain on the collection of such mappings. At each step of the chain, a point in the $n$ element set is chosen uniformly at random and the current mapping is modified by replacing the current image of that point by a new one chosen independently and uniformly at random, conditional on the resulting mapping being again acyclic. We can represent an acyclic mapping as a directed graph (such a graph will be a collection of rooted trees) and think of these directed graphs as metric spaces with some extra structure. Informal calculations indicate that the metric space valued process associated with the Markov chain should, after an appropriate time and ``space'' rescaling, converge as $n \rightarrow \infty$ to a real tree ($R$-tree) valued Markov process that is reversible with respect to a measure induced naturally by the standard reflected Brownian bridge. Although we don't prove such a limit theorem, we use Dirichlet form methods to construct a Markov process that is Hunt with respect to a suitable Gromov-Hausdorff-like metric and evolves according to the dynamics suggested by the heuristic arguments. This process is similar to one that appears in earlier work by Evans and Winter as a similarly informal limit of a Markov chain related to the subtree prune and regraft tree (SPR) rearrangements from phylogenetics.


Download Citation

Steven Evans. Tye Lidman. "Asymptotic Evolution of Acyclic Random Mappings." Electron. J. Probab. 12 1051 - 1180, 2007.


Accepted: 2 September 2007; Published: 2007
First available in Project Euclid: 1 June 2016

zbMATH: 1130.60078
MathSciNet: MR2336603
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/EJP.v12-437

Primary: 60J25
Secondary: 05C05 , 05C80 , 60C05

Keywords: Brownian bridge , Brownian excursion , Continuum random tree , Dirichlet form , Excursion theory , Gromov-Hausdorff metric , Path decomposition , random mapping

Vol.12 • 2007
Back to Top