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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2024

Random walks on simplicial complexes


The notion of Laplacian of a graph can be generalized to simplicial complexes and hypergraphs, and contains information on the topology of these structures. Even for a graph, the consideration of associated simplicial complexes is interesting to understand its shape. Whereas the Laplacian of a graph has a simple probabilistic interpretation as the generator of a continuous time Markov chain on the graph, things are not so direct when considering simplicial complexes. We define here new Markov chains on simplicial complexes. For a given order~$k$, the state space is the set of $k$-cycles that are chains of $k$-simplexes with null boundary. This new framework is a natural generalization of the canonical Markov chains on graphs. We show that the generator of our Markov chain is the upper Laplacian defined in the context of algebraic topology for discrete structure. We establish several key properties of this new process: in particular, when the number of vertices is finite, the Markov chain is positive recurrent. This result is not trivial, since the cycles can loop over themselves an unbounded number of times. We study the diffusive limits when the simplicial complexes under scrutiny are a sequence of ever refining triangulations of the flat torus. Using the analogy between singular and Hodge homologies, we express this limit as valued in the set of currents. The proof of tightness and the identification of the limiting martingale problem make use of the flat norm and carefully controls of the error terms in the convergence of the generator. Uniqueness of the solution to the martingale problem is left open. An application to hole detection is carried.
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Dates and versions

hal-04544608 , version 1 (12-04-2024)
hal-04544608 , version 2 (07-05-2024)



  • HAL Id : hal-04544608 , version 2


Thomas Bonis, Laurent Decreusefond, Viet Chi Tran, Iris Zhihan Zhang. Random walks on simplicial complexes. 2024. ⟨hal-04544608v2⟩
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