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Documents authored by Sinclair, Alistair


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The Critical Mean-Field Chayes-Machta Dynamics

Authors: Antonio Blanca, Alistair Sinclair, and Xusheng Zhang

Published in: LIPIcs, Volume 207, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)


Abstract
The random-cluster model is a unifying framework for studying random graphs, spin systems and electrical networks that plays a fundamental role in designing efficient Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling algorithms for the classical ferromagnetic Ising and Potts models. 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, where the underlying graph is the complete graph on n vertices. The random-cluster model is parametrized by an edge probability p and a cluster weight q. Our focus is on the critical regime: p = p_c(q) and q ∈ (1,2), where p_c(q) is the threshold corresponding to the order-disorder phase transition of the model. We show that the mixing time of the Chayes-Machta dynamics is O(log n ⋅ log log n) in this parameter regime, which reveals that the dynamics does not undergo an exponential slowdown at criticality, a surprising fact that had been predicted (but not proved) by statistical physicists. This also provides a nearly optimal bound (up to the log log n factor) for the mixing time of the mean-field Chayes-Machta dynamics in the only regime of parameters where no non-trivial bound was previously known. Our proof consists of a multi-phased coupling argument that combines several key ingredients, including a new local limit theorem, a precise bound on the maximum of symmetric random walks with varying step sizes, and tailored estimates for critical random graphs. In addition, we derive an improved comparison inequality between the mixing time of the Chayes-Machta dynamics and that of the local Glauber dynamics on general graphs; this results in better mixing time bounds for the local dynamics in the mean-field setting.

Cite as

Antonio Blanca, Alistair Sinclair, and Xusheng Zhang. The Critical Mean-Field Chayes-Machta Dynamics. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 47:1-47:15, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.47,
  author =	{Blanca, Antonio and Sinclair, Alistair and Zhang, Xusheng},
  title =	{{The Critical Mean-Field Chayes-Machta Dynamics}},
  booktitle =	{Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)},
  pages =	{47:1--47:15},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-207-5},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2021},
  volume =	{207},
  editor =	{Wootters, Mary and Sanit\`{a}, Laura},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.47},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147408},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.47},
  annote =	{Keywords: Markov Chains, Mixing Times, Random-cluster Model, Ising and Potts Models, Mean-field, Chayes-Machta Dynamics, Random Graphs}
}
Document
Fisher Zeros and Correlation Decay in the Ising Model

Authors: Jingcheng Liu, Alistair Sinclair, and Piyush Srivastava

Published in: LIPIcs, Volume 124, 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)


Abstract
The Ising model originated in statistical physics as a means of studying phase transitions in magnets, and has been the object of intensive study for almost a century. Combinatorially, it can be viewed as a natural distribution over cuts in a graph, and it has also been widely studied in computer science, especially in the context of approximate counting and sampling. In this paper, we study the complex zeros of the partition function of the Ising model, viewed as a polynomial in the "interaction parameter"; these are known as Fisher zeros in light of their introduction by Fisher in 1965. While the zeros of the partition function as a polynomial in the "field" parameter have been extensively studied since the classical work of Lee and Yang, comparatively little is known about Fisher zeros. Our main result shows that the zero-field Ising model has no Fisher zeros in a complex neighborhood of the entire region of parameters where the model exhibits correlation decay. In addition to shedding light on Fisher zeros themselves, this result also establishes a formal connection between two distinct notions of phase transition for the Ising model: the absence of complex zeros (analyticity of the free energy, or the logarithm of the partition function) and decay of correlations with distance. We also discuss the consequences of our result for efficient deterministic approximation of the partition function. Our proof relies heavily on algorithmic techniques, notably Weitz's self-avoiding walk tree, and as such belongs to a growing body of work that uses algorithmic methods to resolve classical questions in statistical physics.

Cite as

Jingcheng Liu, Alistair Sinclair, and Piyush Srivastava. Fisher Zeros and Correlation Decay in the Ising Model. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 55:1-55:8, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


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@InProceedings{liu_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.55,
  author =	{Liu, Jingcheng and Sinclair, Alistair and Srivastava, Piyush},
  title =	{{Fisher Zeros and Correlation Decay in the Ising Model}},
  booktitle =	{10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)},
  pages =	{55:1--55:8},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-095-8},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2019},
  volume =	{124},
  editor =	{Blum, Avrim},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.55},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-101483},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.55},
  annote =	{Keywords: Ising model, zeros of polynomials, partition functions, approximate counting, phase transitions}
}
Document
Dynamics for the Mean-field Random-cluster Model

Authors: Antonio Blanca and Alistair Sinclair

Published in: LIPIcs, Volume 40, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)


Abstract
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).

Cite as

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)


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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.528,
  author =	{Blanca, Antonio and Sinclair, Alistair},
  title =	{{Dynamics for the Mean-field Random-cluster Model}},
  booktitle =	{Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)},
  pages =	{528--543},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-939897-89-7},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2015},
  volume =	{40},
  editor =	{Garg, Naveen and Jansen, Klaus and Rao, Anup and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P.},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.528},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53227},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.528},
  annote =	{Keywords: random-cluster model, random graphs, Markov chains, statistical physics, dynamics}
}
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