Remarks on the speeds of a class of random walks on the integers

Maher Boudabra, Greg Markowsky

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In recent years, there has been an interest in deriving certain important probabilistic results as consequences of deterministic ones; see for instance [2] and [1]. In this work, we continue on this path by deducing a well known equivalence between the speed of random walks on the integers and the growth of the size of their ranges. This result is an immediate consequence of the Kesten-Spitzer-Whitman theorem, and by appearances is probabilistic in nature, but we will show that it follows easily from an elementary deterministic result. We also investigate the common property of recurrent random walks of having speed zero, and show by example that this property need not be shared by deterministic sequences. However, if we consider the inter-arrival times (times at which the sequence is equal to 0) then we find a sufficient deterministic condition for a sequence to have zero speed, and show that this can be used to derive several probabilistic results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112436
Number of pages6
JournalDiscrete Mathematics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Random walk
  • Speed of random walks

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