Extended systems driven through strong disorder are modeled generically using coarse-grained degrees of freedom that interact elastically in the directions parallel to the driving force and that slip along at least one of the directions transverse to the motion. A realization of such a model is a collection of elastic channels with transverse viscous couplings. In the infinite range limit this model has a tricritical point separating a region where the depinning is continuous, in the universality class of elastic depinning, from a region where depinning is hysteretic. Many of the collective transport models discussed in the literature are special cases of the generic model.
Middleton, Alan; Marchetti, M. Cristina; Saunders, Karl; and Schwarz, J. M., "Driven Depinning of Strongly Disordered Media and Anisotropic Mean-field Limits" (2003). Physics. 190.
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