Phase transitions in optimal search times: How random walkers should combine resetting and flight scales

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© 2015 American Physical Society. Recent works have explored the properties of Lévy flights with resetting in one-dimensional domains and have reported the existence of phase transitions in the phase space of parameters which minimizes the mean first passage time (MFPT) through the origin [L. Kusmierz et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 220602 (2014)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.113.220602]. Here, we show how actually an interesting dynamics, including also phase transitions for the minimization of the MFPT, can also be obtained without invoking the use of Lévy statistics but for the simpler case of random walks with exponentially distributed flights of constant speed. We explore this dynamics both in the case of finite and infinite domains, and for different implementations of the resetting mechanism to show that different ways to introduce resetting consistently lead to a quite similar dynamics. The use of exponential flights has the strong advantage that exact solutions can be obtained easily for the MFPT through the origin, so a complete analytical characterization of the system dynamics can be provided. Furthermore, we discuss in detail how the phase transitions observed in random walks with resetting are closely related to several ideas recurrently used in the field of random search theory, in particular, to other mechanisms proposed to understand random search in space as mortal random walks or multiscale random walks. As a whole, we corroborate that one of the essential ingredients behind MFPT minimization lies in the combination of multiple movement scales (regardless of their specific origin).
Original languageEnglish
Article number062115
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015


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