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We show how Wick polynomials of random variables can be defined combinatorially as the unique choice, which removes all “internal contractions” from the related cumulant expansions, also in a non-Gaussian case. We discuss how an expansion in terms of the Wick polynomials can be used for derivation of a hierarchy of equations for the time-evolution of cumulants. These methods are then applied to simplify the formal derivation of the Boltzmann-Peierls equation in the kinetic scaling limit of the discrete nonlinear Schödinger equation (DNLS) with suitable random initial data. We also present a reformulation of the standard perturbation expansion using cumulants, which could simplify the problem of a rigorous derivation of the Boltzmann-Peierls equation by separating the analysis of the solutions to the Boltzmann-Peierls equation from the analysis of the corrections. This latter scheme is general and not tied to the DNLS evolution equations.


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