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Emergence of patterns in random processes. II. Stochastic structure in random events


Random events can present what appears to be a pattern in the length of peak-to-peak sequences in time series and other point processes. Previously, we showed that this was the case in both individual and independently distributed processes as well as for Brownian walks. In addition, we introduced the use of the discrete form of the Langevin equation of statistical mechanics as a device for connecting the two limiting sets of behaviors, which we then compared with a variety of observations from the physical and social sciences. Here, we establish a probabilistic framework via the Smoluchowski equation for exploring the Langevin equation and its expected peak-to-peak sequence lengths, and we introduce a concept we call "stochastic structure in random events," or SSRE. We extend the Brownian model to include antipersistent processes via autoregressive (AR) models. We relate the latter to describe the behavior of Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, and we devise a further test for the validity of the Langevin and AR models. Given our analytic results, we show how the Langevin equation can be adapted to describe population cycles of three to four years observed among many mammalian species in biology. © 2014 American Physical Society.

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