Localization of directed polymers in continuous space

Yuri Bakhtin, Donghyun Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first main goal of this article is to give a new metrization of the Mukherjee– Varadhan topology, recently introduced as a translation-invariant compactification of the space of probability measures on Euclidean spaces. This new metrization allows us to achieve our second goal which is to extend the recent program of Bates and Chatterjee on localization for the endpoint distribution of discrete directed polymers to polymers based on general random walks in Euclidean spaces. Following their strategy, we study the asymptotic behavior of the endpoint distribution update map and study the set of its distributional fixed points satisfying a variational principle. We show that the distribution concentrated on the zero measure is a unique element in this set if and only if the system is in the high temperature regime. This enables us to prove that the asymptotic clustering (a natural continuous analogue of the asymptotic pure atomicity property) holds in the low temperature regime and that the endpoint distribution is geometrically localized with positive density if and only if the system is in the low temperature regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number142
Pages (from-to)1-56
Number of pages56
JournalElectronic Journal of Probability
StatePublished - 2020


  • Directed polymers
  • Localization
  • Mukherjee-Varadhan topology
  • Phase transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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