Colloquium - Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
Record dynamics of evolving metastable systems: theory and applications
FKF, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK5230, Odense M, Denmark
2 Department of Physics, Emory University, 30322, Atlanta, GA, USA
3 Department of Mathematics, Centre for Complexity Science, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, SW7 2AZ, London, UK
4 Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259, Nagatsuta-cho, 226-8502, Yokohama, Japan
Accepted: 9 December 2020
Published online: 27 January 2021
Record Dynamics (RD) deals with complex systems evolving through a sequence of metastable stages. These are macroscopically distinguishable and appear stationary, except for the sudden and rapid changes, called quakes, which induce the transitions from one stage to the next. This phenomenology is well known in physics as “physical aging”, but from the vantage point of RD, the evolution of a class of systems of physical, biological, and cultural origin is rooted in a hierarchically structured configuration space and can, therefore, be analyzed by similar statistical tools. This colloquium paper strives to present in a coherent fashion methods and ideas that have gradually evolved over time. To this end, it first describes the differences and similarities between RD and two widespread paradigms of complex dynamics, Self-Organized Criticality and Continuous Time Random Walks. It then outlines the Poissonian nature of records events in white noise time-series, and connects it to the statistics of quakes in metastable hierarchical systems, arguing that the relaxation effects of quakes can generally be described by power laws unrelated to criticality. Several different applications of RD have been developed over the years. Some of these are described, showing the basic RD hypothesis and how the log-time homogeneity of quake dynamics, can be empirically verified in a given context. The discussion summarizes the paper and briefly mentions applications not discussed in detail. Finally, the outlook points to possible improvements and to new areas of research where RD could be of use.
© The Author(s) 2021
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