# Successions in Words and Compositions

Article

We consider words over the alphabet [k] = {1, 2, . . ., k}, k ≥ 2. For a fixed nonnegative integer p, a p-succession in a word w 1w 2 . . . w n consists of two consecutive letters of the form (w i, w i + p), i = 1, 2, . . ., n-1. We analyze words with respect to a given number of contained p-successions. First we find the mean and variance of the number of p-successions. We then determine the distribution of the number of p-successions in words of length n as n (and possibly k) tends to infinity; a simple instance of a phase transition (Gaussian-Poisson-degenerate) is encountered. Finally, we also investigate successions in compositions of integers. © 2012 Springer Basel AG.