random walk


Definition of random walk

: a process (such as Brownian motion or genetic drift) consisting of a sequence of steps (such as movements or changes in gene frequency) each of whose characteristics (such as magnitude and direction) is determined by chance

Examples of random walk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Biologists can use random walks to model how animals move and behave. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Solve One of the Most Notorious Open Problems in Math," 30 Mar. 2020 Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics. Joe Weisenthal, Bloomberg.com, "Mark Cuban on Why the Government Should Directly Hire Millions of People," 19 May 2020 This team identified a key geometry idea that unites some random walks and sets others apart. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Solve One of the Most Notorious Open Problems in Math," 30 Mar. 2020 How does that affect the number of blocks walked, and the random walk formula? Quanta Magazine, "A Drunkard’s Walk in Manhattan," 18 Aug. 2016 This happens because, in each iteration of stochastic gradient descent, more or less accidental correlations in the training data tell the network to do different things, dialing the strengths of its neural connections up and down in a random walk. Quanta Magazine, "New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning," 21 Sep. 2017 Lessman-Moss has been inspired partly by a weaving program that incorporated the mathematics of random walks. Grant Segall, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Arts Prize lifetime winner Janice Lessman-Moss weaves with math and creativity," 19 Sep. 2019 Actually, a camera shake is very similar to a random walk. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Awesome Bowling Robot Is Surely Fake. Here's How to Tell," 10 July 2019 The stable map is to these clusters as Brownian motion is to the random walk. Quanta Magazine, "Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'random walk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of random walk

1905, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of random walk was in 1905

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Cite this Entry

“Random walk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/random%20walk. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on random walk

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about random walk

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