Self-organized criticality in dynamics without branching

Phys. Rev. E 57, 5019 – Published 1 May 1998
Prashant M. Gade and M. P. Joy


We demonstrate the phenomenon of self-organized criticality (SOC) in a simple random walk model described by a random walk of a myopic ant, i.e., a walker who can see only nearest neighbors. The ant acts on the underlying lattice aiming at uniform digging, i.e., reduction of the height profile of the surface but is unaffected by the underlying lattice. In one, two, and three dimensions we have explored this model and have obtained power laws in the time intervals between consecutive events of “digging.” Being a simple random walk, the power laws in space translate to power laws in time. We also study the finite size scaling of asymptotic scale invariant process as well as dynamic scaling in this system. This model differs qualitatively from the cascade models of SOC.


  • Received 5 December 1997
  • Published in the issue dated May 1998

© 1998 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Prashant M. Gade1,* and M. P. Joy2,†

  • 1Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560064, India
  • 2Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India

  • *Electronic address:
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