We compute the mixing rate of a non-backtracking random walk on a regular expander. Using some properties of Chebyshev polynomials of the second kind, we show that this rate may be up to twice as fast as the mixing rate of the simple random walk. The closer the expander is to a Ramanujan graph, the higher the ratio between the above two mixing rates is. As an application, we show that if G is a high-girth regular expander on n vertices, then a typical non-backtracking random walk of length n on G does not visit a vertex more than (1 + o(1))log n/log log n times, and this result is tight. In this sense, the multi-set of visited vertices is analogous to the result of throwing n balls to n bins uniformly, in contrast to the simple random walk on G, which almost surely visits some vertex Ω(log n) times.
- Balls and bins
- Mixing rate
- Non-backtracking random walks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Mathematics