How to Design a Linear Cover Time Random Walk on a Finite Graph

  • Yoshiaki Nonaka
  • Hirotaka Ono
  • Kunihiko Sadakane
  • Masafumi Yamashita
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5792)


A random walk on a finite graph G = (V,E) is random token circulation on vertices of G. A token on a vertex in V moves to one of its adjacent vertices according to a transition probability matrix P. It is known that both of the hitting time and the cover time of the standard random walk are bounded by O(|V|3), in which the token randomly moves to an adjacent vertex with the uniform probability. This estimation is tight in a sense, that is, there exist graphs for which the hitting time and cover times of the standard random walk are \({\it \Omega}(|V|^3)\). Thus the following questions naturally arise: is it possible to speed up a random walk, that is, to design a transition probability for G that achieves a faster cover time? Or, how large (or small) is the lower bound on the cover time of random walks on G? In this paper, we investigate how we can/cannot design a faster random walk in terms of the cover time. We give necessary conditions for a graph G to have a linear cover time random walk, i,e., the cover time of the random walk on G is O(|V|). We also present a class of graphs that have a linear cover time. As a byproduct, we obtain the lower bound \({\it \Omega}(|V|\log |V|)\) of the cover time of any random walk on trees.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiaki Nonaka
    • 1
  • Hirotaka Ono
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kunihiko Sadakane
    • 3
  • Masafumi Yamashita
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsKyushu UniversityJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Systems, Information Technologies and Nanotechnologies (ISIT)Japan
  3. 3.Principles of Informatics Research DivisionNational Institute of InformaticsJapan

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