Dynamics for the Mean-field Random-cluster Model

Authors Antonio Blanca, Alistair Sinclair

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Antonio Blanca
Alistair Sinclair

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Antonio Blanca and Alistair Sinclair. Dynamics for the Mean-field Random-cluster Model. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 528-543, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)


The random-cluster model has been widely studied as a unifying framework for random graphs, spin systems and random spanning trees, but its dynamics have so far largely resisted analysis. In this paper we study a natural non-local Markov chain known as the Chayes-Machta dynamics for the mean-field case of the random-cluster model, and identify a critical regime (lambda_s,lambda_S) of the model parameter lambda in which the dynamics undergoes an exponential slowdown. Namely, we prove that the mixing time is Theta(log n) if lambda is not in [lambda_s,lambda_S], and e^Omega(sqrt{n}) when lambda is in (lambda_s,lambda_S). These results hold for all values of the second model parameter q > 1. In addition, we prove that the local heat-bath dynamics undergoes a similar exponential slowdown in (lambda_s,lambda_S).
  • random-cluster model
  • random graphs
  • Markov chains
  • statistical physics
  • dynamics


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