Large Deviations for the Local Times of a Random Walk among Random Conductances in a Growing Box

W. Konig, T. Wolff

2015, v.21, №3, 591-638


We derive an annealed large deviation principle (LDP) for the normalised and rescaled local times of a continuous-time random walk among random conductances (RWRC) in a time-dependent, growing box in $\Z^d$. We work in the interesting case that the conductances are positive, but may assume arbitrarily small values. Thus, the underlying picture of the principle is a joint strategy of small conductance values and large holding times of the walk. The speed and the rate function of our principle are explicit in terms of the lower tails of the conductance distribution as well as the time-dependent size of the box.
An interesting phase transition occurs if the thickness parameter of the conductance tails exceeds a certain threshold: for thicker tails, the random walk spreads out over the entire growing box, for thinner tails it stays confined to some bounded region. In fact, in the first case, the rate function turns out to be equal to the $p$-th power of the $p$-norm of the gradient of the square root for some $p\in(2d/(d+2),2)$. This extends the
Donsker\tire Varadhan\tire G\"artner rate function for the local times of Brownian motion (with deterministic environment) from $p=2$ to these values.
As corollaries of our LDP, we derive the logarithmic asymptotics of the non-exit probability of the RWRC from the growing box, and the Lifshitz tails of the generator of the RWRC, the randomised Laplace operator.
To contrast with the annealed, not uniformly elliptic case, we also provide an LDP in the quenched setting for conductances that are bounded and bounded away from zero. The main tool here is a spectral homogenisation result, based on a quenched invariance principle for the RWRC.

Keywords: random conductances, random walk, randomised Laplace operator, local times, large deviations, Donsker\tire Varadhan\tire G\"artner theory, spectral homogenisation, Lifshitz tails


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