The field of interacting particle systems began as a branch of probability theory in the late 1960's. Much of the original impetus came from the work of F. Spitzer in the United States and of R. L. Dobrushin in the Soviet Union. (For examples of their early work, see Spitzer (1969a, 1970) and Dobrushin (1971a, b).) During the decade and a half since then, this area has grown and developed rapidly, establishing unexpected connections with a number of other fields.
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