We consider a natural front evolution problem the East process on
$\mathbb{Z}^d, d\ge 2,$ a well studied kinetically constrained model for which
the facilitation mechanism is oriented along the coordinate directions, as the
equilibrium density $q$ of the facilitating vertices vanishes. Starting with a
unique unconstrained vertex at the origin, let $S(t)$ consist of those vertices
which became unconstrained within time $t$ and, for an arbitrary positive
direction $\mathbf x,$ let $v_{\max}(\mathbf x),v_{\min}(\mathbf x )$ be the
maximal/minimal velocities at which $S(t)$ grows in that direction. If $\mathbf
x$ is independent of $q$, we prove that $v_{\max}(\mathbf x)= v_{\min}(\mathbf
x)^{(1+o(1))}=\gamma(d) ^{(1+o(1))}$ as $q\to 0$, where $\gamma(d)$ is the
spectral gap of the process on $\mathbb{Z}^d$. We also analyse the case in
which some of the coordinates of $\mathbf x$ vanish as $q\to 0$. In particular,
for $d=2$ we prove that if $\mathbf x$ approaches one of the two coordinate
directions fast enough, then $v_{\max}(\mathbf x)= v_{\min}(\mathbf
x)^{(1+o(1))}=\gamma(1) ^{(1+o(1))}=\gamma(d)^{d(1+o(1))},$ i.e. the growth of
$S(t)$ close to the coordinate directions is dictated by the one dimensional
process. As a result the region $S(t)$ becomes extremely elongated inside
$\mathbb{Z}^d_+$. We also establish mixing time cutoff for the chain in finite
boxes with minimal boundary conditions. A key ingredient of our analysis is the
renormalisation technique of arXiv:1404.7257 to estimate the spectral gap of
the East process. Here we extend this technique to get the main asymptotics of
a suitable principal Dirichlet eigenvalue of the process.

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