The continuous limit of large random planar maps.

  • Jean-François Le Gall (Université Paris-Sud and Institut universitaire de France, France)
G3 10 (Lecture hall)


Planar maps are graphs embedded in the plane, considered up to continuous deformation. They have been studied extensively in combinatorics, and they have also significant geometrical applications. Particular cases of planar maps are p-angulations, where each face (meaning each component of the complement of edges) has exactly p adjacent edges.

Random planar maps have been used in theoretical physics, where they serve as models of random geometry. Our goal is to discuss the convergence in distribution of rescaled random planar maps viewed as random metric spaces. More precisely, we consider a random planar map M(n) which is uniformly distributed over the set of all p-angulations with n vertices. We equip the set of vertices of M(n) with the graph distance rescaled by the factor n to the power -1/4. Both in the case p=3 and when p>3 is even, we prove that the resulting random metric spaces converge as n tends to infinity to a universal object called the Brownian map. This convergence holds in the sense of the Gromov-Hausdorff distance between compact metric spaces. In the particular case of triangulations (p=3), this solves an open problem stated by Oded Schramm in his 2006 ICM paper. As a key tool, we use bijections between planar maps and various classes of labeled trees.

Katharina Matschke

MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences Contact via Mail