Intersection and mixing times for reversible chains

Yuval Peres, Thomas Sauerwald, Perla Sousi, Alexandre Stauffer

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6 Citations (SciVal)
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Suppose X and Y are two independent irreducible Markov chains on n states. We consider the intersection time, which is the first time their trajectories intersect. We show for reversible and lazy chains that the total variation mixing time is always upper bounded by the expected intersection time taken over the worst starting states. For random walks on trees we show the two quantities are equivalent. We obtain an expression for the expected intersection time in terms of the eigenvalues for reversible and transitive chains. For such chains we also show that it is up to constants the geometric mean of n and E[I], where I is the number of intersections up to the uniform mixing time. Finally for random walks on regular graphs we obtain sharp inequalities that relate the expected intersection time to maximum hitting time and mixing time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalElectronic Journal of Probability
Early online date3 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • math.PR
  • 60J10


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