Sojourn time in ℤ+ for the Bernoulli random walk on ℤ
Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, Pôle de
Mathématiques/Institut Camille Jordan, Bâtiment Léonard de Vinci, 20 avenue Albert
Revised: 29 March 2010
Let (Sk)k≥1 be the classical Bernoulli random walk on the integer line with jump parameters p ∈ (0,1) and q = 1 − p. The probability distribution of the sojourn time of the walk in the set of non-negative integers up to a fixed time is well-known, but its expression is not simple. By modifying slightly this sojourn time through a particular counting process of the zeros of the walk as done by Chung & Feller [Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 35 (1949) 605–608], simpler representations may be obtained for its probability distribution. In the aforementioned article, only the symmetric case (p = q = 1/2) is considered. This is the discrete counterpart to the famous Paul Lévy’s arcsine law for Brownian motion.
In the present paper, we write out a representation for this probability distribution in the general case together with others related to the random walk subject to a possible conditioning. The main tool is the use of generating functions.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 60G50 / 60J22 / 60J10 / 60E10
Key words: Random walk / sojourn time / generating function
© EDP Sciences, SMAI, 2012