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The Abelian sandpile and related models


  • Dhar, Deepak


The Abelian sandpile model is the simplest analytically tractable model of self-organized criticality. This paper presents a brief review of known results about the model. The Abelian group structure of the algebra of operators allows an exact calculation of many of its properties. In particular, when there is a preferred direction, one can calculate all the critical exponents characterizing the distribution of avalanche-sizes in all dimensions. For the undirected case, the model is related to q → 0 state Potts model. This enables exact calculation of some exponents in two dimensions, and there are some conjectures about others. We also discuss a generalization of the model to a network of communicating reactive processors. This includes sandpile models with stochastic toppling rules as a special case. We also consider a nondashAbelian stochastic variant, which lies in a different universality class, related to directed percolation.

Suggested Citation

  • Dhar, Deepak, 1999. "The Abelian sandpile and related models," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 263(1), pages 4-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:263:y:1999:i:1:p:4-25
    DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4371(98)00493-2

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    Cited by:

    1. Hay, M.J. & Schiff, J. & Fisch, N.J., 2017. "On extreme points of the diffusion polytope," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 473(C), pages 225-236.
    2. Tadić, Bosiljka, 2001. "Dynamics of directed graphs: the world-wide Web," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 293(1), pages 273-284.

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