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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 275, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)

We study the mixing time of the single-site update Markov chain, known as the Glauber dynamics, for generating a random independent set of a tree. Our focus is obtaining optimal convergence results for arbitrary trees. We consider the more general problem of sampling from the Gibbs distribution in the hard-core model where independent sets are weighted by a parameter λ > 0; the special case λ = 1 corresponds to the uniform distribution over all independent sets. Previous work of Martinelli, Sinclair and Weitz (2004) obtained optimal mixing time bounds for the complete Δ-regular tree for all λ. However, Restrepo et al. (2014) showed that for sufficiently large λ there are bounded-degree trees where optimal mixing does not hold. Recent work of Eppstein and Frishberg (2022) proved a polynomial mixing time bound for the Glauber dynamics for arbitrary trees, and more generally for graphs of bounded tree-width.
We establish an optimal bound on the relaxation time (i.e., inverse spectral gap) of O(n) for the Glauber dynamics for unweighted independent sets on arbitrary trees. Moreover, for λ ≤ .44 we prove an optimal mixing time bound of O(n log n). We stress that our results hold for arbitrary trees and there is no dependence on the maximum degree Δ. Interestingly, our results extend (far) beyond the uniqueness threshold which is on the order λ = O(1/Δ). Our proof approach is inspired by recent work on spectral independence. In fact, we prove that spectral independence holds with a constant independent of the maximum degree for any tree, but this does not imply mixing for general trees as the optimal mixing results of Chen, Liu, and Vigoda (2021) only apply for bounded degree graphs. We instead utilize the combinatorial nature of independent sets to directly prove approximate tensorization of variance/entropy via a non-trivial inductive proof.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 275, pp. 33:1-33:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)}, pages = {33:1--33:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-296-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {275}, editor = {Megow, Nicole and Smith, Adam}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-188589}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, annote = {Keywords: MCMC, Mixing Time, Independent Sets, Hard-Core Model, Approximate Counting Algorithms, Sampling Algorithms} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

Spectral independence is a recently-developed framework for obtaining sharp bounds on the convergence time of the classical Glauber dynamics. This new framework has yielded optimal O(n log n) sampling algorithms on bounded-degree graphs for a large class of problems throughout the so-called uniqueness regime, including, for example, the problems of sampling independent sets, matchings, and Ising-model configurations.
Our main contribution is to relax the bounded-degree assumption that has so far been important in establishing and applying spectral independence. Previous methods for avoiding degree bounds rely on using L^p-norms to analyse contraction on graphs with bounded connective constant (Sinclair, Srivastava, Yin; FOCS'13). The non-linearity of L^p-norms is an obstacle to applying these results to bound spectral independence. Our solution is to capture the L^p-analysis recursively by amortising over the subtrees of the recurrence used to analyse contraction. Our method generalises previous analyses that applied only to bounded-degree graphs.
As a main application of our techniques, we consider the random graph G(n,d/n), where the previously known algorithms run in time n^O(log d) or applied only to large d. We refine these algorithmic bounds significantly, and develop fast nearly linear algorithms based on Glauber dynamics that apply to all constant d, throughout the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 21:1-21:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {21:1--21:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163622}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, annote = {Keywords: Hard-core model, Random graphs, Markov chains} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the performance of Markov chains for the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on random regular graphs. While the cases of the grid and the complete graph are by now well-understood, the case of random regular graphs has resisted a detailed analysis and, in fact, even analysing the properties of the Potts distribution has remained elusive. It is conjectured that the performance of Markov chains is dictated by metastability phenomena, i.e., the presence of "phases" (clusters) in the sample space where Markov chains with local update rules, such as the Glauber dynamics, are bound to take exponential time to escape, and therefore cause slow mixing. The phases that are believed to drive these metastability phenomena in the case of the Potts model emerge as local, rather than global, maxima of the so-called Bethe functional, and previous approaches of analysing these phases based on optimisation arguments fall short of the task.
Our first contribution is to detail the emergence of the metastable phases for the q-state Potts model on the d-regular random graph for all integers q,d ≥ 3, and establish that for an interval of temperatures, delineated by the uniqueness and a broadcasting threshold on the d-regular tree, the two phases coexist. The proofs are based on a conceptual connection between spatial properties and the structure of the Potts distribution on the random regular graph, rather than complicated moment calculations. This significantly refines earlier results by Helmuth, Jenssen, and Perkins who had established phase coexistence for a small interval around the so-called ordered-disordered threshold (via different arguments) that applied for large q and d ≥ 5.
Based on our new structural understanding of the model, we obtain various algorithmic consequences. We first complement recent fast mixing results for Glauber dynamics by Blanca and Gheissari below the uniqueness threshold, showing an exponential lower bound on the mixing time above the uniqueness threshold. Then, we obtain tight results even for the non-local and more elaborate Swendsen-Wang chain, where we establish slow mixing/metastability for the whole interval of temperatures where the chain is conjectured to mix slowly on the random regular graph. The key is to bound the conductance of the chains using a random graph "planting" argument combined with delicate bounds on random-graph percolation.

Amin Coja-Oghlan, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Jean Bernoulli Ravelomanana, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 45:1-45:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cojaoghlan_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45, author = {Coja-Oghlan, Amin and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Ravelomanana, Jean Bernoulli and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {45:1--45:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163865}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, annote = {Keywords: Markov chains, sampling, random regular graph, Potts model} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the computational complexity of estimating local observables for Gibbs distributions. A simple combinatorial example is the average size of an independent set in a graph. A recent work of Galanis et al (2021) established NP-hardness of approximating the average size of an independent set utilizing hardness of the corresponding optimization problem and the related phase transition behavior. We instead consider settings where the underlying optimization problem is easily solvable. Our main contribution is to classify the complexity of approximating a wide class of observables via a generic reduction from approximate counting to the problem of estimating local observables. The key idea is to use the observables to interpolate the counting problem.
Using this new approach, we are able to study observables on bipartite graphs where the underlying optimization problem is easy but the counting problem is believed to be hard. The most-well studied class of graphs that was excluded from previous hardness results were bipartite graphs. We establish hardness for estimating the average size of the independent set in bipartite graphs of maximum degree 6; more generally, we show tight hardness results for general vertex-edge observables for antiferromagnetic 2-spin systems on bipartite graphs. Our techniques go beyond 2-spin systems, and for the ferromagnetic Potts model we establish hardness of approximating the number of monochromatic edges in the same region as known hardness of approximate counting results.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 63:1-63:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {63:1--63:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-164047}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, annote = {Keywords: Approximate Counting, Averages, Phase Transitions, Random Structures} }

Document

RANDOM

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

The Swendsen-Wang algorithm is a sophisticated, widely-used Markov chain for sampling from the Gibbs distribution for the ferromagnetic Ising and Potts models. This chain has proved difficult to analyze, due in part to the global nature of its updates. We present optimal bounds on the convergence rate of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the complete d-ary tree. Our bounds extend to the non-uniqueness region and apply to all boundary conditions. We show that the spatial mixing conditions known as Variance Mixing and Entropy Mixing, introduced in the study of local Markov chains by Martinelli et al. (2003), imply Ω(1) spectral gap and O(log n) mixing time, respectively, for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics on the d-ary tree. We also show that these bounds are asymptotically optimal. As a consequence, we establish Θ(log n) mixing for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics for all boundary conditions throughout the tree uniqueness region; in fact, our bounds hold beyond the uniqueness threshold for the Ising model, and for the q-state Potts model when q is small with respect to d. Our proofs feature a novel spectral view of the Variance Mixing condition inspired by several recent rapid mixing results on high-dimensional expanders and utilize recent work on block factorization of entropy under spatial mixing conditions.

Antonio Blanca, Zongchen Chen, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 43:1-43:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Chen, Zongchen and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {43:1--43:15}, 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.2021.43}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147366}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43}, annote = {Keywords: Markov Chains, mixing times, Ising and Potts models, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, trees} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 145, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)

Strong spatial mixing (SSM) is a form of correlation decay that has played an essential role in the design of approximate counting algorithms for spin systems. A notable example is the algorithm of Weitz (2006) for the hard-core model on weighted independent sets. We study SSM for the q-colorings problem on the infinite (d+1)-regular tree. Weak spatial mixing (WSM) captures whether the influence of the leaves on the root vanishes as the height of the tree grows. Jonasson (2002) established WSM when q>d+1. In contrast, in SSM, we first fix a coloring on a subset of internal vertices, and we again ask if the influence of the leaves on the root is vanishing. It was known that SSM holds on the (d+1)-regular tree when q>alpha d where alpha ~~ 1.763... is a constant that has arisen in a variety of results concerning random colorings. Here we improve on this bound by showing SSM for q>1.59d. Our proof establishes an L^2 contraction for the BP operator. For the contraction we bound the norm of the BP Jacobian by exploiting combinatorial properties of the coloring of the tree.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Andreas Galanis, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 145, pp. 48:1-48:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Galanis, Andreas and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)}, pages = {48:1--48:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-125-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {145}, editor = {Achlioptas, Dimitris and V\'{e}gh, L\'{a}szl\'{o} A.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-112630}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, annote = {Keywords: colorings, regular tree, spatial mixing, phase transitions} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 132, 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)

We study the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs with edge parameter gamma, where gamma takes arbitrary values in the complex plane.
When gamma is a positive real, Jerrum and Sinclair showed that the problem admits an FPRAS on general graphs. For general complex values of gamma, Patel and Regts, building on methods developed by Barvinok, showed that the problem admits an FPTAS on graphs of maximum degree Delta as long as gamma is not a negative real number less than or equal to -1/(4(Delta-1)). Our first main result completes the picture for the approximability of the matching polynomial on bounded degree graphs. We show that for all Delta >= 3 and all real gamma less than -1/(4(Delta-1)), the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs of maximum degree Delta with edge parameter gamma is #P-hard.
We then explore whether the maximum degree parameter can be replaced by the connective constant. Sinclair et al. showed that for positive real gamma it is possible to approximate the value of the matching polynomial using a correlation decay algorithm on graphs with bounded connective constant (and potentially unbounded maximum degree). We first show that this result does not extend in general in the complex plane; in particular, the problem is #P-hard on graphs with bounded connective constant for a dense set of gamma values on the negative real axis. Nevertheless, we show that the result does extend for any complex value gamma that does not lie on the negative real axis. Our analysis accounts for complex values of gamma using geodesic distances in the complex plane in the metric defined by an appropriate density function.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 22:1-22:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane}}, booktitle = {46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)}, pages = {22:1--22:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-109-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {132}, editor = {Baier, Christel and Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Flocchini, Paola and Leonardi, Stefano}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-105983}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, annote = {Keywords: matchings, partition function, correlation decay, connective constant} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

We consider the problem of sampling from the Potts model on random regular graphs. It is conjectured that sampling is possible when the temperature of the model is in the so-called uniqueness regime of the regular tree, but positive algorithmic results have been for the most part elusive. In this paper, for all integers q >= 3 and Delta >= 3, we develop algorithms that produce samples within error o(1) from the q-state Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs, whenever the temperature is in uniqueness, for both the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic cases.
The algorithm for the antiferromagnetic Potts model is based on iteratively adding the edges of the graph and resampling a bichromatic class that contains the endpoints of the newly added edge. Key to the algorithm is how to perform the resampling step efficiently since bichromatic classes can potentially induce linear-sized components. To this end, we exploit the tree uniqueness to show that the average growth of bichromatic components is typically small, which allows us to use correlation decay algorithms for the resampling step. While the precise uniqueness threshold on the tree is not known for general values of q and Delta in the antiferromagnetic case, our algorithm works throughout uniqueness regardless of its value.
In the case of the ferromagnetic Potts model, we are able to simplify the algorithm significantly by utilising the random-cluster representation of the model. In particular, we demonstrate that a percolation-type algorithm succeeds in sampling from the random-cluster model with parameters p,q on random Delta-regular graphs for all values of q >= 1 and p<p_c(q,Delta), where p_c(q,Delta) corresponds to a uniqueness threshold for the model on the Delta-regular tree. When restricted to integer values of q, this yields a simplified algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs.

Antonio Blanca, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Kuan Yang. Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 33:1-33:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Kuan}, title = {{Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {33:1--33:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94371}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, annote = {Keywords: sampling, Potts model, random regular graphs, phase transitions} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 81, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)

We study the Glauber dynamics for Ising model on (sequences of) dense graphs. We view the dense graphs through the lens of graphons. For the ferromagnetic Ising model with inverse temperature beta on a convergent sequence of graphs G_n with limit graphon W we show fast mixing of the Glauber dynamics if beta * lambda_1(W) < 1$ and slow (torpid) mixing if beta * lambda_1(W) > 1 (where lambda_1(W)is the largest eigenvalue of the graphon). We also show that in the case beta * lambda_1(W) = 1 there is insufficient information to determine the mixing time (it can be either fast or slow).

Rupam Acharyya and Daniel Stefankovic. Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 23:1-23:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{acharyya_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23, author = {Acharyya, Rupam and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {23:1--23:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75724}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, Glauber dynamics, Ising model, graphons} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 80, 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)

We study the problem of approximately evaluating the independent set polynomial of bounded-degree graphs at a point lambda or, equivalently, the problem of approximating the partition function of the hard-core model with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D. For lambda>0, breakthrough results of Weitz and Sly established a computational transition from easy to hard at lambda_c(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/(D-2)^D, which coincides with the tree uniqueness phase transition from statistical physics.
For lambda<0, the evaluation of the independent set polynomial is connected to the conditions of the Lovasz Local Lemma. Shearer identified the threshold lambda*(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/D^D as the maximum value p such that every family of events with failure probability at most p and whose dependency graph has max degree D has nonempty intersection. Very recently, Patel and Regts, and Harvey et al. have independently designed FPTASes for approximating the partition function whenever |lambda|<lambda*(D).
Our main result establishes for the first time a computational transition at the Shearer threshold. We show that for all D>=3, for all lambda<-lambda*(D), it is NP-hard to approximate the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D, even within an exponential factor. Thus, our result, combined with the FPTASes for lambda>-lambda*(D), establishes a phase transition for negative activities. In fact, we now have the following picture for the problem of approximating the partition function with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D.
1. For -lambda*(D)<lambda<lambda_c(D), the problem admits an FPTAS.
2. For lambda<-lambda*(D) or lambda>lambda_c(D), the problem is NP-hard.
Rather than the tree uniqueness threshold of the positive case, the phase transition for negative activities corresponds to the existence of zeros for the partition function of the tree below -lambda*(D).

Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Stefankovic. Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 28:1-28:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold}}, booktitle = {44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)}, pages = {28:1--28:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-041-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {80}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Indyk, Piotr and Kuhn, Fabian and Muscholl, Anca}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-73962}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent set polynomial, Shearer threshold} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 55, 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)

Approximate counting via correlation decay is the core algorithmic technique used in the sharp delineation of the computational phase transition that arises in the approximation of the partition function of anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models.
Previous analyses of correlation-decay algorithms implicitly depended on the occurrence of strong spatial mixing. This, roughly, means that one uses worst-case analysis of the recursive procedure that creates the sub-instances. In this paper, we develop a new analysis method that is more refined than the worst-case analysis. We take the shape of instances in the computation tree into consideration and we amortise against certain "bad" instances that are created as the recursion proceeds. This enables us to show correlation decay and to obtain an FPTAS even when strong spatial mixing fails.
We apply our technique to the problem of approximately counting independent sets in hypergraphs with degree upper-bound Delta and with a lower bound k on the arity of hyperedges. Liu and Lin gave an FPTAS for k >= 2 and Delta <= 5 (lack of strong spatial mixing was the obstacle preventing this algorithm from being generalised to Delta = 6). Our technique gives a tight result for Delta = 6, showing that there is an FPTAS for k >= 3 and Delta <= 6. The best previously-known approximation scheme for Delta = 6 is the Markov-chain simulation based FPRAS of Bordewich, Dyer and Karpinski, which only works for k >= 8.
Our technique also applies for larger values of k, giving an FPTAS for k >= 1.66 Delta. This bound is not as strong as existing randomised results, for technical reasons that are discussed in the paper. Nevertheless, it gives the first deterministic approximation schemes in this regime. We further demonstrate that in the hypergraph independent set model, approximating the partition function is NP-hard even within the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, and Daniel Stefankovic. Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 45:1-45:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails}}, booktitle = {43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)}, pages = {45:1--45:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-013-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {55}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Mitzenmacher, Michael and Rabani, Yuval and Sangiorgi, Davide}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-63257}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent sets in hypergraphs, correlation decay} }

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

We study the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph known as the mean-field (Curie-Weiss) model. We analyze the Swendsen-Wang algorithm which is a Markov chain that utilizes the random cluster representation for the ferromagnetic Potts model to recolor large sets of vertices in one step and potentially overcomes obstacles that inhibit single-site Glauber dynamics. The case q=2 (the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Ising model) undergoes a slow-down at the uniqueness/non-uniqueness critical temperature for the infinite Delta-regular tree (Long et al., 2014) but yet still has polynomial mixing time at all (inverse) temperatures beta>0 (Cooper et al., 2000). In contrast for q>=3 there are two critical temperatures 0<beta_u<beta_rc that are relevant, these two critical points relate to phase transitions in the infinite tree. We prove that the mixing time of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph satisfies: (i) O(log n) for beta<beta_u, (ii) O(n^(1/3)) for beta=beta_u, (iii) exp(n^(Omega(1))) for beta_u<beta<beta_rc, and (iv) O(log n) for beta>=beta_rc. These results complement refined results of Cuff et al. (2012) on the mixing time of the Glauber dynamics for the ferromagnetic Potts model. The most interesting aspect of our analysis is at the critical temperature beta=beta_u, which requires a delicate choice of a potential function to balance the conflating factors for the slow drift away from a fixed point (which is repulsive but not Jacobian repulsive): close to the fixed point the variance from the percolation step dominates and sufficiently far from the fixed point the dynamics of the size of the dominant color class takes over.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 815-828, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {815--828}, 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.2015.815}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53389}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, mixing time, mean-field analysis, phase transition.} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Counting independent sets on bipartite graphs (#BIS) is considered a canonical counting problem of intermediate approximation complexity. It is conjectured that #BIS neither has an FPRAS nor is as hard as #SAT to approximate. We study #BIS in the general framework of two-state spin systems in bipartite graphs. Such a system is parameterized by three numbers (beta,gamma,lambda), where beta (respectively gamma) represents the weight of an edge (or "interaction strength") whose endpoints are of the same 0 (respectively 1) spin, and lambda is the weight of a 1 vertex, also known as an "external field". By convention, the edge weight with unequal 0/1 end points and the vertex weight with spin 0 are both normalized to 1. The partition function of the special case beta=1, gamma=0, and lambda=1 counts the number of independent sets. We define two notions, nearly-independent phase-correlated spins and symmetry breaking. We prove that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function of any two-spin system on bipartite graphs supporting these two notions.
As a consequence, we show that #BIS on graphs of degree at most 6 is as hard to approximate as #BIS~without degree bound. The degree bound 6 is the best possible as Weitz presented an FPTAS to count independent sets on graphs of maximum degree 5. This result extends to the hard-core model and to other anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models. In particular, for all antiferromagnetic two-spin systems, namely those satisfying beta*gamma<1, we prove that when the infinite (Delta-1)-ary tree lies in the non-uniqueness region then it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree Delta, except for the case beta=gamma and lambda=1. The exceptional case is precisely the antiferromagnetic Ising model without an external field, and we show that it has an FPRAS on bipartite graphs. Our inapproximability results match the approximability results of Li et al., who presented an FPTAS for general graphs of maximum degree Delta when the parameters lie in the uniqueness region.

Jin-Yi Cai, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, Mark Jerrum, Daniel Stefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. #BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 582-595, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{cai_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582, author = {Cai, Jin-Yi and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Jerrum, Mark and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{#BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {582--595}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47235}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, approximate counting, complexity, #BIS-hardness, phase transition} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Recent results establish for the hard-core model (and more generally for 2-spin antiferromagnetic systems) that the computational complexity of approximating the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D undergoes a phase transition that coincides with the uniqueness/non-uniqueness phase transition on the infinite D-regular tree. For the ferromagnetic Potts model we investigate whether analogous hardness results hold. Goldberg and Jerrum showed that approximating the partition function of the ferromagnetic Potts model is at least as hard as approximating the number of independent sets in bipartite graphs, so-called #BIS-hardness. We improve this hardness result by establishing it for bipartite graphs of maximum degree D. To this end, we first present a detailed picture for the phase diagram for the infinite D-regular tree, giving a refined picture of its first-order phase transition and establishing the critical temperature for the coexistence of the disordered and ordered phases. We then prove for all temperatures below this critical temperature (corresponding to the region where the ordered phase "dominates") that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree D.
The #BIS-hardness result uses random bipartite regular graphs as a gadget in the reduction. The analysis of these random graphs relies on recent results establishing connections between the maxima of the expectation of their partition function, attractive fixpoints of the associated tree recursions, and induced matrix norms. In this paper we extend these connections to random regular graphs for all ferromagnetic models. Using these connections, we establish the Bethe prediction for every ferromagnetic spin system on random regular graphs, which says roughly that the expectation of the log of the partition function Z is the same as the log of the expectation of Z. As a further consequence of our results, we prove for the ferromagnetic Potts model that the Swendsen-Wang algorithm is torpidly mixing (i.e., exponentially slow convergence to its stationary distribution) on random D-regular graphs at the critical temperature for sufficiently large q.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Linji Yang. Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 677-691, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Linji}, title = {{Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {677--691}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47319}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, approximate counting, spin systems, phase transition, random regular graphs} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 8, IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)

We introduce a new graph polynomial that encodes interesting properties of graphs, for example, the number of matchings, the number of perfect matchings, and, for bipartite graphs, the number of independent sets (#BIS).
We analyze the complexity of exact evaluation of the polynomial at rational points and show a dichotomy result---for most points exact evaluation is #P-hard (assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis) and for the rest of the points exact evaluation is trivial.
We propose a natural Markov chain to approximately evaluate the polynomial for a range of parameters. We prove an upper bound on the mixing time of the Markov chain on trees. As a by-product we show that the ``single bond flip'' Markov chain for the random cluster model is rapidly mixing on constant tree-width graphs.

Qi Ge and Daniel Stefankovic. A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs. In IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 8, pp. 240-250, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)

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@InProceedings{ge_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240, author = {Ge, Qi and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs}}, booktitle = {IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)}, pages = {240--250}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-23-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2010}, volume = {8}, editor = {Lodaya, Kamal and Mahajan, Meena}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-28676}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, annote = {Keywords: graph polynomials, #P-complete, independent sets, approximate counting problems, Markov chain Monte Carlo} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 275, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)

We study the mixing time of the single-site update Markov chain, known as the Glauber dynamics, for generating a random independent set of a tree. Our focus is obtaining optimal convergence results for arbitrary trees. We consider the more general problem of sampling from the Gibbs distribution in the hard-core model where independent sets are weighted by a parameter λ > 0; the special case λ = 1 corresponds to the uniform distribution over all independent sets. Previous work of Martinelli, Sinclair and Weitz (2004) obtained optimal mixing time bounds for the complete Δ-regular tree for all λ. However, Restrepo et al. (2014) showed that for sufficiently large λ there are bounded-degree trees where optimal mixing does not hold. Recent work of Eppstein and Frishberg (2022) proved a polynomial mixing time bound for the Glauber dynamics for arbitrary trees, and more generally for graphs of bounded tree-width.
We establish an optimal bound on the relaxation time (i.e., inverse spectral gap) of O(n) for the Glauber dynamics for unweighted independent sets on arbitrary trees. Moreover, for λ ≤ .44 we prove an optimal mixing time bound of O(n log n). We stress that our results hold for arbitrary trees and there is no dependence on the maximum degree Δ. Interestingly, our results extend (far) beyond the uniqueness threshold which is on the order λ = O(1/Δ). Our proof approach is inspired by recent work on spectral independence. In fact, we prove that spectral independence holds with a constant independent of the maximum degree for any tree, but this does not imply mixing for general trees as the optimal mixing results of Chen, Liu, and Vigoda (2021) only apply for bounded degree graphs. We instead utilize the combinatorial nature of independent sets to directly prove approximate tensorization of variance/entropy via a non-trivial inductive proof.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 275, pp. 33:1-33:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)}, pages = {33:1--33:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-296-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {275}, editor = {Megow, Nicole and Smith, Adam}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-188589}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, annote = {Keywords: MCMC, Mixing Time, Independent Sets, Hard-Core Model, Approximate Counting Algorithms, Sampling Algorithms} }

Document

Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

Spectral independence is a recently-developed framework for obtaining sharp bounds on the convergence time of the classical Glauber dynamics. This new framework has yielded optimal O(n log n) sampling algorithms on bounded-degree graphs for a large class of problems throughout the so-called uniqueness regime, including, for example, the problems of sampling independent sets, matchings, and Ising-model configurations.
Our main contribution is to relax the bounded-degree assumption that has so far been important in establishing and applying spectral independence. Previous methods for avoiding degree bounds rely on using L^p-norms to analyse contraction on graphs with bounded connective constant (Sinclair, Srivastava, Yin; FOCS'13). The non-linearity of L^p-norms is an obstacle to applying these results to bound spectral independence. Our solution is to capture the L^p-analysis recursively by amortising over the subtrees of the recurrence used to analyse contraction. Our method generalises previous analyses that applied only to bounded-degree graphs.
As a main application of our techniques, we consider the random graph G(n,d/n), where the previously known algorithms run in time n^O(log d) or applied only to large d. We refine these algorithmic bounds significantly, and develop fast nearly linear algorithms based on Glauber dynamics that apply to all constant d, throughout the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 21:1-21:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {21:1--21:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163622}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, annote = {Keywords: Hard-core model, Random graphs, Markov chains} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the performance of Markov chains for the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on random regular graphs. While the cases of the grid and the complete graph are by now well-understood, the case of random regular graphs has resisted a detailed analysis and, in fact, even analysing the properties of the Potts distribution has remained elusive. It is conjectured that the performance of Markov chains is dictated by metastability phenomena, i.e., the presence of "phases" (clusters) in the sample space where Markov chains with local update rules, such as the Glauber dynamics, are bound to take exponential time to escape, and therefore cause slow mixing. The phases that are believed to drive these metastability phenomena in the case of the Potts model emerge as local, rather than global, maxima of the so-called Bethe functional, and previous approaches of analysing these phases based on optimisation arguments fall short of the task.
Our first contribution is to detail the emergence of the metastable phases for the q-state Potts model on the d-regular random graph for all integers q,d ≥ 3, and establish that for an interval of temperatures, delineated by the uniqueness and a broadcasting threshold on the d-regular tree, the two phases coexist. The proofs are based on a conceptual connection between spatial properties and the structure of the Potts distribution on the random regular graph, rather than complicated moment calculations. This significantly refines earlier results by Helmuth, Jenssen, and Perkins who had established phase coexistence for a small interval around the so-called ordered-disordered threshold (via different arguments) that applied for large q and d ≥ 5.
Based on our new structural understanding of the model, we obtain various algorithmic consequences. We first complement recent fast mixing results for Glauber dynamics by Blanca and Gheissari below the uniqueness threshold, showing an exponential lower bound on the mixing time above the uniqueness threshold. Then, we obtain tight results even for the non-local and more elaborate Swendsen-Wang chain, where we establish slow mixing/metastability for the whole interval of temperatures where the chain is conjectured to mix slowly on the random regular graph. The key is to bound the conductance of the chains using a random graph "planting" argument combined with delicate bounds on random-graph percolation.

Amin Coja-Oghlan, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Jean Bernoulli Ravelomanana, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 45:1-45:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cojaoghlan_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45, author = {Coja-Oghlan, Amin and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Ravelomanana, Jean Bernoulli and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {45:1--45:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163865}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, annote = {Keywords: Markov chains, sampling, random regular graph, Potts model} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the computational complexity of estimating local observables for Gibbs distributions. A simple combinatorial example is the average size of an independent set in a graph. A recent work of Galanis et al (2021) established NP-hardness of approximating the average size of an independent set utilizing hardness of the corresponding optimization problem and the related phase transition behavior. We instead consider settings where the underlying optimization problem is easily solvable. Our main contribution is to classify the complexity of approximating a wide class of observables via a generic reduction from approximate counting to the problem of estimating local observables. The key idea is to use the observables to interpolate the counting problem.
Using this new approach, we are able to study observables on bipartite graphs where the underlying optimization problem is easy but the counting problem is believed to be hard. The most-well studied class of graphs that was excluded from previous hardness results were bipartite graphs. We establish hardness for estimating the average size of the independent set in bipartite graphs of maximum degree 6; more generally, we show tight hardness results for general vertex-edge observables for antiferromagnetic 2-spin systems on bipartite graphs. Our techniques go beyond 2-spin systems, and for the ferromagnetic Potts model we establish hardness of approximating the number of monochromatic edges in the same region as known hardness of approximate counting results.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 63:1-63:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {63:1--63:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-164047}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, annote = {Keywords: Approximate Counting, Averages, Phase Transitions, Random Structures} }

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RANDOM

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

The Swendsen-Wang algorithm is a sophisticated, widely-used Markov chain for sampling from the Gibbs distribution for the ferromagnetic Ising and Potts models. This chain has proved difficult to analyze, due in part to the global nature of its updates. We present optimal bounds on the convergence rate of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the complete d-ary tree. Our bounds extend to the non-uniqueness region and apply to all boundary conditions. We show that the spatial mixing conditions known as Variance Mixing and Entropy Mixing, introduced in the study of local Markov chains by Martinelli et al. (2003), imply Ω(1) spectral gap and O(log n) mixing time, respectively, for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics on the d-ary tree. We also show that these bounds are asymptotically optimal. As a consequence, we establish Θ(log n) mixing for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics for all boundary conditions throughout the tree uniqueness region; in fact, our bounds hold beyond the uniqueness threshold for the Ising model, and for the q-state Potts model when q is small with respect to d. Our proofs feature a novel spectral view of the Variance Mixing condition inspired by several recent rapid mixing results on high-dimensional expanders and utilize recent work on block factorization of entropy under spatial mixing conditions.

Antonio Blanca, Zongchen Chen, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 43:1-43:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Chen, Zongchen and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {43:1--43:15}, 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.2021.43}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147366}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43}, annote = {Keywords: Markov Chains, mixing times, Ising and Potts models, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, trees} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 145, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)

Strong spatial mixing (SSM) is a form of correlation decay that has played an essential role in the design of approximate counting algorithms for spin systems. A notable example is the algorithm of Weitz (2006) for the hard-core model on weighted independent sets. We study SSM for the q-colorings problem on the infinite (d+1)-regular tree. Weak spatial mixing (WSM) captures whether the influence of the leaves on the root vanishes as the height of the tree grows. Jonasson (2002) established WSM when q>d+1. In contrast, in SSM, we first fix a coloring on a subset of internal vertices, and we again ask if the influence of the leaves on the root is vanishing. It was known that SSM holds on the (d+1)-regular tree when q>alpha d where alpha ~~ 1.763... is a constant that has arisen in a variety of results concerning random colorings. Here we improve on this bound by showing SSM for q>1.59d. Our proof establishes an L^2 contraction for the BP operator. For the contraction we bound the norm of the BP Jacobian by exploiting combinatorial properties of the coloring of the tree.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Andreas Galanis, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 145, pp. 48:1-48:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Galanis, Andreas and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)}, pages = {48:1--48:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-125-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {145}, editor = {Achlioptas, Dimitris and V\'{e}gh, L\'{a}szl\'{o} A.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-112630}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, annote = {Keywords: colorings, regular tree, spatial mixing, phase transitions} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 132, 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)

We study the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs with edge parameter gamma, where gamma takes arbitrary values in the complex plane.
When gamma is a positive real, Jerrum and Sinclair showed that the problem admits an FPRAS on general graphs. For general complex values of gamma, Patel and Regts, building on methods developed by Barvinok, showed that the problem admits an FPTAS on graphs of maximum degree Delta as long as gamma is not a negative real number less than or equal to -1/(4(Delta-1)). Our first main result completes the picture for the approximability of the matching polynomial on bounded degree graphs. We show that for all Delta >= 3 and all real gamma less than -1/(4(Delta-1)), the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs of maximum degree Delta with edge parameter gamma is #P-hard.
We then explore whether the maximum degree parameter can be replaced by the connective constant. Sinclair et al. showed that for positive real gamma it is possible to approximate the value of the matching polynomial using a correlation decay algorithm on graphs with bounded connective constant (and potentially unbounded maximum degree). We first show that this result does not extend in general in the complex plane; in particular, the problem is #P-hard on graphs with bounded connective constant for a dense set of gamma values on the negative real axis. Nevertheless, we show that the result does extend for any complex value gamma that does not lie on the negative real axis. Our analysis accounts for complex values of gamma using geodesic distances in the complex plane in the metric defined by an appropriate density function.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 22:1-22:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane}}, booktitle = {46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)}, pages = {22:1--22:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-109-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {132}, editor = {Baier, Christel and Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Flocchini, Paola and Leonardi, Stefano}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-105983}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, annote = {Keywords: matchings, partition function, correlation decay, connective constant} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

We consider the problem of sampling from the Potts model on random regular graphs. It is conjectured that sampling is possible when the temperature of the model is in the so-called uniqueness regime of the regular tree, but positive algorithmic results have been for the most part elusive. In this paper, for all integers q >= 3 and Delta >= 3, we develop algorithms that produce samples within error o(1) from the q-state Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs, whenever the temperature is in uniqueness, for both the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic cases.
The algorithm for the antiferromagnetic Potts model is based on iteratively adding the edges of the graph and resampling a bichromatic class that contains the endpoints of the newly added edge. Key to the algorithm is how to perform the resampling step efficiently since bichromatic classes can potentially induce linear-sized components. To this end, we exploit the tree uniqueness to show that the average growth of bichromatic components is typically small, which allows us to use correlation decay algorithms for the resampling step. While the precise uniqueness threshold on the tree is not known for general values of q and Delta in the antiferromagnetic case, our algorithm works throughout uniqueness regardless of its value.
In the case of the ferromagnetic Potts model, we are able to simplify the algorithm significantly by utilising the random-cluster representation of the model. In particular, we demonstrate that a percolation-type algorithm succeeds in sampling from the random-cluster model with parameters p,q on random Delta-regular graphs for all values of q >= 1 and p<p_c(q,Delta), where p_c(q,Delta) corresponds to a uniqueness threshold for the model on the Delta-regular tree. When restricted to integer values of q, this yields a simplified algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs.

Antonio Blanca, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Kuan Yang. Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 33:1-33:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Kuan}, title = {{Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {33:1--33:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94371}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, annote = {Keywords: sampling, Potts model, random regular graphs, phase transitions} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 81, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)

We study the Glauber dynamics for Ising model on (sequences of) dense graphs. We view the dense graphs through the lens of graphons. For the ferromagnetic Ising model with inverse temperature beta on a convergent sequence of graphs G_n with limit graphon W we show fast mixing of the Glauber dynamics if beta * lambda_1(W) < 1$ and slow (torpid) mixing if beta * lambda_1(W) > 1 (where lambda_1(W)is the largest eigenvalue of the graphon). We also show that in the case beta * lambda_1(W) = 1 there is insufficient information to determine the mixing time (it can be either fast or slow).

Rupam Acharyya and Daniel Stefankovic. Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 23:1-23:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{acharyya_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23, author = {Acharyya, Rupam and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {23:1--23:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75724}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, Glauber dynamics, Ising model, graphons} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 80, 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)

We study the problem of approximately evaluating the independent set polynomial of bounded-degree graphs at a point lambda or, equivalently, the problem of approximating the partition function of the hard-core model with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D. For lambda>0, breakthrough results of Weitz and Sly established a computational transition from easy to hard at lambda_c(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/(D-2)^D, which coincides with the tree uniqueness phase transition from statistical physics.
For lambda<0, the evaluation of the independent set polynomial is connected to the conditions of the Lovasz Local Lemma. Shearer identified the threshold lambda*(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/D^D as the maximum value p such that every family of events with failure probability at most p and whose dependency graph has max degree D has nonempty intersection. Very recently, Patel and Regts, and Harvey et al. have independently designed FPTASes for approximating the partition function whenever |lambda|<lambda*(D).
Our main result establishes for the first time a computational transition at the Shearer threshold. We show that for all D>=3, for all lambda<-lambda*(D), it is NP-hard to approximate the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D, even within an exponential factor. Thus, our result, combined with the FPTASes for lambda>-lambda*(D), establishes a phase transition for negative activities. In fact, we now have the following picture for the problem of approximating the partition function with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D.
1. For -lambda*(D)<lambda<lambda_c(D), the problem admits an FPTAS.
2. For lambda<-lambda*(D) or lambda>lambda_c(D), the problem is NP-hard.
Rather than the tree uniqueness threshold of the positive case, the phase transition for negative activities corresponds to the existence of zeros for the partition function of the tree below -lambda*(D).

Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Stefankovic. Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 28:1-28:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold}}, booktitle = {44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)}, pages = {28:1--28:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-041-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {80}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Indyk, Piotr and Kuhn, Fabian and Muscholl, Anca}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-73962}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent set polynomial, Shearer threshold} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 55, 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)

Approximate counting via correlation decay is the core algorithmic technique used in the sharp delineation of the computational phase transition that arises in the approximation of the partition function of anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models.
Previous analyses of correlation-decay algorithms implicitly depended on the occurrence of strong spatial mixing. This, roughly, means that one uses worst-case analysis of the recursive procedure that creates the sub-instances. In this paper, we develop a new analysis method that is more refined than the worst-case analysis. We take the shape of instances in the computation tree into consideration and we amortise against certain "bad" instances that are created as the recursion proceeds. This enables us to show correlation decay and to obtain an FPTAS even when strong spatial mixing fails.
We apply our technique to the problem of approximately counting independent sets in hypergraphs with degree upper-bound Delta and with a lower bound k on the arity of hyperedges. Liu and Lin gave an FPTAS for k >= 2 and Delta <= 5 (lack of strong spatial mixing was the obstacle preventing this algorithm from being generalised to Delta = 6). Our technique gives a tight result for Delta = 6, showing that there is an FPTAS for k >= 3 and Delta <= 6. The best previously-known approximation scheme for Delta = 6 is the Markov-chain simulation based FPRAS of Bordewich, Dyer and Karpinski, which only works for k >= 8.
Our technique also applies for larger values of k, giving an FPTAS for k >= 1.66 Delta. This bound is not as strong as existing randomised results, for technical reasons that are discussed in the paper. Nevertheless, it gives the first deterministic approximation schemes in this regime. We further demonstrate that in the hypergraph independent set model, approximating the partition function is NP-hard even within the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, and Daniel Stefankovic. Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 45:1-45:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails}}, booktitle = {43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)}, pages = {45:1--45:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-013-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {55}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Mitzenmacher, Michael and Rabani, Yuval and Sangiorgi, Davide}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-63257}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent sets in hypergraphs, correlation decay} }

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

We study the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph known as the mean-field (Curie-Weiss) model. We analyze the Swendsen-Wang algorithm which is a Markov chain that utilizes the random cluster representation for the ferromagnetic Potts model to recolor large sets of vertices in one step and potentially overcomes obstacles that inhibit single-site Glauber dynamics. The case q=2 (the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Ising model) undergoes a slow-down at the uniqueness/non-uniqueness critical temperature for the infinite Delta-regular tree (Long et al., 2014) but yet still has polynomial mixing time at all (inverse) temperatures beta>0 (Cooper et al., 2000). In contrast for q>=3 there are two critical temperatures 0<beta_u<beta_rc that are relevant, these two critical points relate to phase transitions in the infinite tree. We prove that the mixing time of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph satisfies: (i) O(log n) for beta<beta_u, (ii) O(n^(1/3)) for beta=beta_u, (iii) exp(n^(Omega(1))) for beta_u<beta<beta_rc, and (iv) O(log n) for beta>=beta_rc. These results complement refined results of Cuff et al. (2012) on the mixing time of the Glauber dynamics for the ferromagnetic Potts model. The most interesting aspect of our analysis is at the critical temperature beta=beta_u, which requires a delicate choice of a potential function to balance the conflating factors for the slow drift away from a fixed point (which is repulsive but not Jacobian repulsive): close to the fixed point the variance from the percolation step dominates and sufficiently far from the fixed point the dynamics of the size of the dominant color class takes over.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 815-828, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {815--828}, 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.2015.815}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53389}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, mixing time, mean-field analysis, phase transition.} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Counting independent sets on bipartite graphs (#BIS) is considered a canonical counting problem of intermediate approximation complexity. It is conjectured that #BIS neither has an FPRAS nor is as hard as #SAT to approximate. We study #BIS in the general framework of two-state spin systems in bipartite graphs. Such a system is parameterized by three numbers (beta,gamma,lambda), where beta (respectively gamma) represents the weight of an edge (or "interaction strength") whose endpoints are of the same 0 (respectively 1) spin, and lambda is the weight of a 1 vertex, also known as an "external field". By convention, the edge weight with unequal 0/1 end points and the vertex weight with spin 0 are both normalized to 1. The partition function of the special case beta=1, gamma=0, and lambda=1 counts the number of independent sets. We define two notions, nearly-independent phase-correlated spins and symmetry breaking. We prove that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function of any two-spin system on bipartite graphs supporting these two notions.
As a consequence, we show that #BIS on graphs of degree at most 6 is as hard to approximate as #BIS~without degree bound. The degree bound 6 is the best possible as Weitz presented an FPTAS to count independent sets on graphs of maximum degree 5. This result extends to the hard-core model and to other anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models. In particular, for all antiferromagnetic two-spin systems, namely those satisfying beta*gamma<1, we prove that when the infinite (Delta-1)-ary tree lies in the non-uniqueness region then it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree Delta, except for the case beta=gamma and lambda=1. The exceptional case is precisely the antiferromagnetic Ising model without an external field, and we show that it has an FPRAS on bipartite graphs. Our inapproximability results match the approximability results of Li et al., who presented an FPTAS for general graphs of maximum degree Delta when the parameters lie in the uniqueness region.

Jin-Yi Cai, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, Mark Jerrum, Daniel Stefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. #BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 582-595, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{cai_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582, author = {Cai, Jin-Yi and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Jerrum, Mark and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{#BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {582--595}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47235}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, approximate counting, complexity, #BIS-hardness, phase transition} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Recent results establish for the hard-core model (and more generally for 2-spin antiferromagnetic systems) that the computational complexity of approximating the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D undergoes a phase transition that coincides with the uniqueness/non-uniqueness phase transition on the infinite D-regular tree. For the ferromagnetic Potts model we investigate whether analogous hardness results hold. Goldberg and Jerrum showed that approximating the partition function of the ferromagnetic Potts model is at least as hard as approximating the number of independent sets in bipartite graphs, so-called #BIS-hardness. We improve this hardness result by establishing it for bipartite graphs of maximum degree D. To this end, we first present a detailed picture for the phase diagram for the infinite D-regular tree, giving a refined picture of its first-order phase transition and establishing the critical temperature for the coexistence of the disordered and ordered phases. We then prove for all temperatures below this critical temperature (corresponding to the region where the ordered phase "dominates") that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree D.
The #BIS-hardness result uses random bipartite regular graphs as a gadget in the reduction. The analysis of these random graphs relies on recent results establishing connections between the maxima of the expectation of their partition function, attractive fixpoints of the associated tree recursions, and induced matrix norms. In this paper we extend these connections to random regular graphs for all ferromagnetic models. Using these connections, we establish the Bethe prediction for every ferromagnetic spin system on random regular graphs, which says roughly that the expectation of the log of the partition function Z is the same as the log of the expectation of Z. As a further consequence of our results, we prove for the ferromagnetic Potts model that the Swendsen-Wang algorithm is torpidly mixing (i.e., exponentially slow convergence to its stationary distribution) on random D-regular graphs at the critical temperature for sufficiently large q.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Linji Yang. Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 677-691, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Linji}, title = {{Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {677--691}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47319}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, approximate counting, spin systems, phase transition, random regular graphs} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 8, IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)

We introduce a new graph polynomial that encodes interesting properties of graphs, for example, the number of matchings, the number of perfect matchings, and, for bipartite graphs, the number of independent sets (#BIS).
We analyze the complexity of exact evaluation of the polynomial at rational points and show a dichotomy result---for most points exact evaluation is #P-hard (assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis) and for the rest of the points exact evaluation is trivial.
We propose a natural Markov chain to approximately evaluate the polynomial for a range of parameters. We prove an upper bound on the mixing time of the Markov chain on trees. As a by-product we show that the ``single bond flip'' Markov chain for the random cluster model is rapidly mixing on constant tree-width graphs.

Qi Ge and Daniel Stefankovic. A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs. In IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 8, pp. 240-250, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)

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@InProceedings{ge_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240, author = {Ge, Qi and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs}}, booktitle = {IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)}, pages = {240--250}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-23-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2010}, volume = {8}, editor = {Lodaya, Kamal and Mahajan, Meena}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-28676}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, annote = {Keywords: graph polynomials, #P-complete, independent sets, approximate counting problems, Markov chain Monte Carlo} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 275, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)

We study the mixing time of the single-site update Markov chain, known as the Glauber dynamics, for generating a random independent set of a tree. Our focus is obtaining optimal convergence results for arbitrary trees. We consider the more general problem of sampling from the Gibbs distribution in the hard-core model where independent sets are weighted by a parameter λ > 0; the special case λ = 1 corresponds to the uniform distribution over all independent sets. Previous work of Martinelli, Sinclair and Weitz (2004) obtained optimal mixing time bounds for the complete Δ-regular tree for all λ. However, Restrepo et al. (2014) showed that for sufficiently large λ there are bounded-degree trees where optimal mixing does not hold. Recent work of Eppstein and Frishberg (2022) proved a polynomial mixing time bound for the Glauber dynamics for arbitrary trees, and more generally for graphs of bounded tree-width.
We establish an optimal bound on the relaxation time (i.e., inverse spectral gap) of O(n) for the Glauber dynamics for unweighted independent sets on arbitrary trees. Moreover, for λ ≤ .44 we prove an optimal mixing time bound of O(n log n). We stress that our results hold for arbitrary trees and there is no dependence on the maximum degree Δ. Interestingly, our results extend (far) beyond the uniqueness threshold which is on the order λ = O(1/Δ). Our proof approach is inspired by recent work on spectral independence. In fact, we prove that spectral independence holds with a constant independent of the maximum degree for any tree, but this does not imply mixing for general trees as the optimal mixing results of Chen, Liu, and Vigoda (2021) only apply for bounded degree graphs. We instead utilize the combinatorial nature of independent sets to directly prove approximate tensorization of variance/entropy via a non-trivial inductive proof.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 275, pp. 33:1-33:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Optimal Mixing via Tensorization for Random Independent Sets on Arbitrary Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)}, pages = {33:1--33:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-296-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {275}, editor = {Megow, Nicole and Smith, Adam}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-188589}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.33}, annote = {Keywords: MCMC, Mixing Time, Independent Sets, Hard-Core Model, Approximate Counting Algorithms, Sampling Algorithms} }

Document

Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

Spectral independence is a recently-developed framework for obtaining sharp bounds on the convergence time of the classical Glauber dynamics. This new framework has yielded optimal O(n log n) sampling algorithms on bounded-degree graphs for a large class of problems throughout the so-called uniqueness regime, including, for example, the problems of sampling independent sets, matchings, and Ising-model configurations.
Our main contribution is to relax the bounded-degree assumption that has so far been important in establishing and applying spectral independence. Previous methods for avoiding degree bounds rely on using L^p-norms to analyse contraction on graphs with bounded connective constant (Sinclair, Srivastava, Yin; FOCS'13). The non-linearity of L^p-norms is an obstacle to applying these results to bound spectral independence. Our solution is to capture the L^p-analysis recursively by amortising over the subtrees of the recurrence used to analyse contraction. Our method generalises previous analyses that applied only to bounded-degree graphs.
As a main application of our techniques, we consider the random graph G(n,d/n), where the previously known algorithms run in time n^O(log d) or applied only to large d. We refine these algorithmic bounds significantly, and develop fast nearly linear algorithms based on Glauber dynamics that apply to all constant d, throughout the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 21:1-21:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{Fast Sampling via Spectral Independence Beyond Bounded-Degree Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {21:1--21:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163622}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.21}, annote = {Keywords: Hard-core model, Random graphs, Markov chains} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the performance of Markov chains for the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on random regular graphs. While the cases of the grid and the complete graph are by now well-understood, the case of random regular graphs has resisted a detailed analysis and, in fact, even analysing the properties of the Potts distribution has remained elusive. It is conjectured that the performance of Markov chains is dictated by metastability phenomena, i.e., the presence of "phases" (clusters) in the sample space where Markov chains with local update rules, such as the Glauber dynamics, are bound to take exponential time to escape, and therefore cause slow mixing. The phases that are believed to drive these metastability phenomena in the case of the Potts model emerge as local, rather than global, maxima of the so-called Bethe functional, and previous approaches of analysing these phases based on optimisation arguments fall short of the task.
Our first contribution is to detail the emergence of the metastable phases for the q-state Potts model on the d-regular random graph for all integers q,d ≥ 3, and establish that for an interval of temperatures, delineated by the uniqueness and a broadcasting threshold on the d-regular tree, the two phases coexist. The proofs are based on a conceptual connection between spatial properties and the structure of the Potts distribution on the random regular graph, rather than complicated moment calculations. This significantly refines earlier results by Helmuth, Jenssen, and Perkins who had established phase coexistence for a small interval around the so-called ordered-disordered threshold (via different arguments) that applied for large q and d ≥ 5.
Based on our new structural understanding of the model, we obtain various algorithmic consequences. We first complement recent fast mixing results for Glauber dynamics by Blanca and Gheissari below the uniqueness threshold, showing an exponential lower bound on the mixing time above the uniqueness threshold. Then, we obtain tight results even for the non-local and more elaborate Swendsen-Wang chain, where we establish slow mixing/metastability for the whole interval of temperatures where the chain is conjectured to mix slowly on the random regular graph. The key is to bound the conductance of the chains using a random graph "planting" argument combined with delicate bounds on random-graph percolation.

Amin Coja-Oghlan, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Jean Bernoulli Ravelomanana, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 45:1-45:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cojaoghlan_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45, author = {Coja-Oghlan, Amin and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Ravelomanana, Jean Bernoulli and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Metastability of the Potts Ferromagnet on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {45:1--45:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163865}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.45}, annote = {Keywords: Markov chains, sampling, random regular graph, Potts model} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

We study the computational complexity of estimating local observables for Gibbs distributions. A simple combinatorial example is the average size of an independent set in a graph. A recent work of Galanis et al (2021) established NP-hardness of approximating the average size of an independent set utilizing hardness of the corresponding optimization problem and the related phase transition behavior. We instead consider settings where the underlying optimization problem is easily solvable. Our main contribution is to classify the complexity of approximating a wide class of observables via a generic reduction from approximate counting to the problem of estimating local observables. The key idea is to use the observables to interpolate the counting problem.
Using this new approach, we are able to study observables on bipartite graphs where the underlying optimization problem is easy but the counting problem is believed to be hard. The most-well studied class of graphs that was excluded from previous hardness results were bipartite graphs. We establish hardness for estimating the average size of the independent set in bipartite graphs of maximum degree 6; more generally, we show tight hardness results for general vertex-edge observables for antiferromagnetic 2-spin systems on bipartite graphs. Our techniques go beyond 2-spin systems, and for the ferromagnetic Potts model we establish hardness of approximating the number of monochromatic edges in the same region as known hardness of approximate counting results.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 63:1-63:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Approximating Observables Is as Hard as Counting}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {63:1--63:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-164047}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.63}, annote = {Keywords: Approximate Counting, Averages, Phase Transitions, Random Structures} }

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RANDOM

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

The Swendsen-Wang algorithm is a sophisticated, widely-used Markov chain for sampling from the Gibbs distribution for the ferromagnetic Ising and Potts models. This chain has proved difficult to analyze, due in part to the global nature of its updates. We present optimal bounds on the convergence rate of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the complete d-ary tree. Our bounds extend to the non-uniqueness region and apply to all boundary conditions. We show that the spatial mixing conditions known as Variance Mixing and Entropy Mixing, introduced in the study of local Markov chains by Martinelli et al. (2003), imply Ω(1) spectral gap and O(log n) mixing time, respectively, for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics on the d-ary tree. We also show that these bounds are asymptotically optimal. As a consequence, we establish Θ(log n) mixing for the Swendsen-Wang dynamics for all boundary conditions throughout the tree uniqueness region; in fact, our bounds hold beyond the uniqueness threshold for the Ising model, and for the q-state Potts model when q is small with respect to d. Our proofs feature a novel spectral view of the Variance Mixing condition inspired by several recent rapid mixing results on high-dimensional expanders and utilize recent work on block factorization of entropy under spatial mixing conditions.

Antonio Blanca, Zongchen Chen, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 43:1-43:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Chen, Zongchen and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{The Swendsen-Wang Dynamics on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {43:1--43:15}, 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.2021.43}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147366}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.43}, annote = {Keywords: Markov Chains, mixing times, Ising and Potts models, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, trees} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 145, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)

Strong spatial mixing (SSM) is a form of correlation decay that has played an essential role in the design of approximate counting algorithms for spin systems. A notable example is the algorithm of Weitz (2006) for the hard-core model on weighted independent sets. We study SSM for the q-colorings problem on the infinite (d+1)-regular tree. Weak spatial mixing (WSM) captures whether the influence of the leaves on the root vanishes as the height of the tree grows. Jonasson (2002) established WSM when q>d+1. In contrast, in SSM, we first fix a coloring on a subset of internal vertices, and we again ask if the influence of the leaves on the root is vanishing. It was known that SSM holds on the (d+1)-regular tree when q>alpha d where alpha ~~ 1.763... is a constant that has arisen in a variety of results concerning random colorings. Here we improve on this bound by showing SSM for q>1.59d. Our proof establishes an L^2 contraction for the BP operator. For the contraction we bound the norm of the BP Jacobian by exploiting combinatorial properties of the coloring of the tree.

Charilaos Efthymiou, Andreas Galanis, Thomas P. Hayes, Daniel Štefankovič, and Eric Vigoda. Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 145, pp. 48:1-48:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{efthymiou_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48, author = {Efthymiou, Charilaos and Galanis, Andreas and Hayes, Thomas P. and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Improved Strong Spatial Mixing for Colorings on Trees}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)}, pages = {48:1--48:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-125-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {145}, editor = {Achlioptas, Dimitris and V\'{e}gh, L\'{a}szl\'{o} A.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-112630}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.48}, annote = {Keywords: colorings, regular tree, spatial mixing, phase transitions} }

Document

Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 132, 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)

We study the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs with edge parameter gamma, where gamma takes arbitrary values in the complex plane.
When gamma is a positive real, Jerrum and Sinclair showed that the problem admits an FPRAS on general graphs. For general complex values of gamma, Patel and Regts, building on methods developed by Barvinok, showed that the problem admits an FPTAS on graphs of maximum degree Delta as long as gamma is not a negative real number less than or equal to -1/(4(Delta-1)). Our first main result completes the picture for the approximability of the matching polynomial on bounded degree graphs. We show that for all Delta >= 3 and all real gamma less than -1/(4(Delta-1)), the problem of approximating the value of the matching polynomial on graphs of maximum degree Delta with edge parameter gamma is #P-hard.
We then explore whether the maximum degree parameter can be replaced by the connective constant. Sinclair et al. showed that for positive real gamma it is possible to approximate the value of the matching polynomial using a correlation decay algorithm on graphs with bounded connective constant (and potentially unbounded maximum degree). We first show that this result does not extend in general in the complex plane; in particular, the problem is #P-hard on graphs with bounded connective constant for a dense set of gamma values on the negative real axis. Nevertheless, we show that the result does extend for any complex value gamma that does not lie on the negative real axis. Our analysis accounts for complex values of gamma using geodesic distances in the complex plane in the metric defined by an appropriate density function.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Štefankovič. The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 22:1-22:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and \v{S}tefankovi\v{c}, Daniel}, title = {{The Complexity of Approximating the Matching Polynomial in the Complex Plane}}, booktitle = {46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)}, pages = {22:1--22:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-109-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {132}, editor = {Baier, Christel and Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Flocchini, Paola and Leonardi, Stefano}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-105983}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.22}, annote = {Keywords: matchings, partition function, correlation decay, connective constant} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

We consider the problem of sampling from the Potts model on random regular graphs. It is conjectured that sampling is possible when the temperature of the model is in the so-called uniqueness regime of the regular tree, but positive algorithmic results have been for the most part elusive. In this paper, for all integers q >= 3 and Delta >= 3, we develop algorithms that produce samples within error o(1) from the q-state Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs, whenever the temperature is in uniqueness, for both the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic cases.
The algorithm for the antiferromagnetic Potts model is based on iteratively adding the edges of the graph and resampling a bichromatic class that contains the endpoints of the newly added edge. Key to the algorithm is how to perform the resampling step efficiently since bichromatic classes can potentially induce linear-sized components. To this end, we exploit the tree uniqueness to show that the average growth of bichromatic components is typically small, which allows us to use correlation decay algorithms for the resampling step. While the precise uniqueness threshold on the tree is not known for general values of q and Delta in the antiferromagnetic case, our algorithm works throughout uniqueness regardless of its value.
In the case of the ferromagnetic Potts model, we are able to simplify the algorithm significantly by utilising the random-cluster representation of the model. In particular, we demonstrate that a percolation-type algorithm succeeds in sampling from the random-cluster model with parameters p,q on random Delta-regular graphs for all values of q >= 1 and p<p_c(q,Delta), where p_c(q,Delta) corresponds to a uniqueness threshold for the model on the Delta-regular tree. When restricted to integer values of q, this yields a simplified algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on random Delta-regular graphs.

Antonio Blanca, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Kuan Yang. Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 33:1-33:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{blanca_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33, author = {Blanca, Antonio and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Kuan}, title = {{Sampling in Uniqueness from the Potts and Random-Cluster Models on Random Regular Graphs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {33:1--33:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94371}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.33}, annote = {Keywords: sampling, Potts model, random regular graphs, phase transitions} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 81, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)

We study the Glauber dynamics for Ising model on (sequences of) dense graphs. We view the dense graphs through the lens of graphons. For the ferromagnetic Ising model with inverse temperature beta on a convergent sequence of graphs G_n with limit graphon W we show fast mixing of the Glauber dynamics if beta * lambda_1(W) < 1$ and slow (torpid) mixing if beta * lambda_1(W) > 1 (where lambda_1(W)is the largest eigenvalue of the graphon). We also show that in the case beta * lambda_1(W) = 1 there is insufficient information to determine the mixing time (it can be either fast or slow).

Rupam Acharyya and Daniel Stefankovic. Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 23:1-23:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{acharyya_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23, author = {Acharyya, Rupam and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Glauber Dynamics for Ising Model on Convergent Dense Graph Sequences}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {23:1--23:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75724}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.23}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, Glauber dynamics, Ising model, graphons} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 80, 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)

We study the problem of approximately evaluating the independent set polynomial of bounded-degree graphs at a point lambda or, equivalently, the problem of approximating the partition function of the hard-core model with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D. For lambda>0, breakthrough results of Weitz and Sly established a computational transition from easy to hard at lambda_c(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/(D-2)^D, which coincides with the tree uniqueness phase transition from statistical physics.
For lambda<0, the evaluation of the independent set polynomial is connected to the conditions of the Lovasz Local Lemma. Shearer identified the threshold lambda*(D)=(D-1)^(D-1)/D^D as the maximum value p such that every family of events with failure probability at most p and whose dependency graph has max degree D has nonempty intersection. Very recently, Patel and Regts, and Harvey et al. have independently designed FPTASes for approximating the partition function whenever |lambda|<lambda*(D).
Our main result establishes for the first time a computational transition at the Shearer threshold. We show that for all D>=3, for all lambda<-lambda*(D), it is NP-hard to approximate the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D, even within an exponential factor. Thus, our result, combined with the FPTASes for lambda>-lambda*(D), establishes a phase transition for negative activities. In fact, we now have the following picture for the problem of approximating the partition function with activity lambda on graphs G of max degree D.
1. For -lambda*(D)<lambda<lambda_c(D), the problem admits an FPTAS.
2. For lambda<-lambda*(D) or lambda>lambda_c(D), the problem is NP-hard.
Rather than the tree uniqueness threshold of the positive case, the phase transition for negative activities corresponds to the existence of zeros for the partition function of the tree below -lambda*(D).

Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Daniel Stefankovic. Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 28:1-28:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Inapproximability of the Independent Set Polynomial Below the Shearer Threshold}}, booktitle = {44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017)}, pages = {28:1--28:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-041-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {80}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Indyk, Piotr and Kuhn, Fabian and Muscholl, Anca}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-73962}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2017.28}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent set polynomial, Shearer threshold} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 55, 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)

Approximate counting via correlation decay is the core algorithmic technique used in the sharp delineation of the computational phase transition that arises in the approximation of the partition function of anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models.
Previous analyses of correlation-decay algorithms implicitly depended on the occurrence of strong spatial mixing. This, roughly, means that one uses worst-case analysis of the recursive procedure that creates the sub-instances. In this paper, we develop a new analysis method that is more refined than the worst-case analysis. We take the shape of instances in the computation tree into consideration and we amortise against certain "bad" instances that are created as the recursion proceeds. This enables us to show correlation decay and to obtain an FPTAS even when strong spatial mixing fails.
We apply our technique to the problem of approximately counting independent sets in hypergraphs with degree upper-bound Delta and with a lower bound k on the arity of hyperedges. Liu and Lin gave an FPTAS for k >= 2 and Delta <= 5 (lack of strong spatial mixing was the obstacle preventing this algorithm from being generalised to Delta = 6). Our technique gives a tight result for Delta = 6, showing that there is an FPTAS for k >= 3 and Delta <= 6. The best previously-known approximation scheme for Delta = 6 is the Markov-chain simulation based FPRAS of Bordewich, Dyer and Karpinski, which only works for k >= 8.
Our technique also applies for larger values of k, giving an FPTAS for k >= 1.66 Delta. This bound is not as strong as existing randomised results, for technical reasons that are discussed in the paper. Nevertheless, it gives the first deterministic approximation schemes in this regime. We further demonstrate that in the hypergraph independent set model, approximating the partition function is NP-hard even within the uniqueness regime.

Ivona Bezáková, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, and Daniel Stefankovic. Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 45:1-45:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{bezakova_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45, author = {Bez\'{a}kov\'{a}, Ivona and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{Approximation via Correlation Decay When Strong Spatial Mixing Fails}}, booktitle = {43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)}, pages = {45:1--45:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-013-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {55}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Mitzenmacher, Michael and Rabani, Yuval and Sangiorgi, Davide}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-63257}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.45}, annote = {Keywords: approximate counting, independent sets in hypergraphs, correlation decay} }

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

We study the q-state ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph known as the mean-field (Curie-Weiss) model. We analyze the Swendsen-Wang algorithm which is a Markov chain that utilizes the random cluster representation for the ferromagnetic Potts model to recolor large sets of vertices in one step and potentially overcomes obstacles that inhibit single-site Glauber dynamics. The case q=2 (the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Ising model) undergoes a slow-down at the uniqueness/non-uniqueness critical temperature for the infinite Delta-regular tree (Long et al., 2014) but yet still has polynomial mixing time at all (inverse) temperatures beta>0 (Cooper et al., 2000). In contrast for q>=3 there are two critical temperatures 0<beta_u<beta_rc that are relevant, these two critical points relate to phase transitions in the infinite tree. We prove that the mixing time of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm for the ferromagnetic Potts model on the n-vertex complete graph satisfies: (i) O(log n) for beta<beta_u, (ii) O(n^(1/3)) for beta=beta_u, (iii) exp(n^(Omega(1))) for beta_u<beta<beta_rc, and (iv) O(log n) for beta>=beta_rc. These results complement refined results of Cuff et al. (2012) on the mixing time of the Glauber dynamics for the ferromagnetic Potts model. The most interesting aspect of our analysis is at the critical temperature beta=beta_u, which requires a delicate choice of a potential function to balance the conflating factors for the slow drift away from a fixed point (which is repulsive but not Jacobian repulsive): close to the fixed point the variance from the percolation step dominates and sufficiently far from the fixed point the dynamics of the size of the dominant color class takes over.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Štefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 815-828, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815, author = {Galanis, Andreas and \v{S}tefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{Swendsen-Wang Algorithm on the Mean-Field Potts Model}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {815--828}, 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.2015.815}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53389}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.815}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, Swendsen-Wang dynamics, mixing time, mean-field analysis, phase transition.} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Counting independent sets on bipartite graphs (#BIS) is considered a canonical counting problem of intermediate approximation complexity. It is conjectured that #BIS neither has an FPRAS nor is as hard as #SAT to approximate. We study #BIS in the general framework of two-state spin systems in bipartite graphs. Such a system is parameterized by three numbers (beta,gamma,lambda), where beta (respectively gamma) represents the weight of an edge (or "interaction strength") whose endpoints are of the same 0 (respectively 1) spin, and lambda is the weight of a 1 vertex, also known as an "external field". By convention, the edge weight with unequal 0/1 end points and the vertex weight with spin 0 are both normalized to 1. The partition function of the special case beta=1, gamma=0, and lambda=1 counts the number of independent sets. We define two notions, nearly-independent phase-correlated spins and symmetry breaking. We prove that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function of any two-spin system on bipartite graphs supporting these two notions.
As a consequence, we show that #BIS on graphs of degree at most 6 is as hard to approximate as #BIS~without degree bound. The degree bound 6 is the best possible as Weitz presented an FPTAS to count independent sets on graphs of maximum degree 5. This result extends to the hard-core model and to other anti-ferromagnetic two-spin models. In particular, for all antiferromagnetic two-spin systems, namely those satisfying beta*gamma<1, we prove that when the infinite (Delta-1)-ary tree lies in the non-uniqueness region then it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree Delta, except for the case beta=gamma and lambda=1. The exceptional case is precisely the antiferromagnetic Ising model without an external field, and we show that it has an FPRAS on bipartite graphs. Our inapproximability results match the approximability results of Li et al., who presented an FPTAS for general graphs of maximum degree Delta when the parameters lie in the uniqueness region.

Jin-Yi Cai, Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Heng Guo, Mark Jerrum, Daniel Stefankovic, and Eric Vigoda. #BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 582-595, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{cai_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582, author = {Cai, Jin-Yi and Galanis, Andreas and Goldberg, Leslie Ann and Guo, Heng and Jerrum, Mark and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric}, title = {{#BIS-Hardness for 2-Spin Systems on Bipartite Bounded Degree Graphs in the Tree Non-uniqueness Region}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {582--595}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47235}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.582}, annote = {Keywords: Spin systems, approximate counting, complexity, #BIS-hardness, phase transition} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

Recent results establish for the hard-core model (and more generally for 2-spin antiferromagnetic systems) that the computational complexity of approximating the partition function on graphs of maximum degree D undergoes a phase transition that coincides with the uniqueness/non-uniqueness phase transition on the infinite D-regular tree. For the ferromagnetic Potts model we investigate whether analogous hardness results hold. Goldberg and Jerrum showed that approximating the partition function of the ferromagnetic Potts model is at least as hard as approximating the number of independent sets in bipartite graphs, so-called #BIS-hardness. We improve this hardness result by establishing it for bipartite graphs of maximum degree D. To this end, we first present a detailed picture for the phase diagram for the infinite D-regular tree, giving a refined picture of its first-order phase transition and establishing the critical temperature for the coexistence of the disordered and ordered phases. We then prove for all temperatures below this critical temperature (corresponding to the region where the ordered phase "dominates") that it is #BIS-hard to approximate the partition function on bipartite graphs of maximum degree D.
The #BIS-hardness result uses random bipartite regular graphs as a gadget in the reduction. The analysis of these random graphs relies on recent results establishing connections between the maxima of the expectation of their partition function, attractive fixpoints of the associated tree recursions, and induced matrix norms. In this paper we extend these connections to random regular graphs for all ferromagnetic models. Using these connections, we establish the Bethe prediction for every ferromagnetic spin system on random regular graphs, which says roughly that the expectation of the log of the partition function Z is the same as the log of the expectation of Z. As a further consequence of our results, we prove for the ferromagnetic Potts model that the Swendsen-Wang algorithm is torpidly mixing (i.e., exponentially slow convergence to its stationary distribution) on random D-regular graphs at the critical temperature for sufficiently large q.

Andreas Galanis, Daniel Stefankovic, Eric Vigoda, and Linji Yang. Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 677-691, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{galanis_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677, author = {Galanis, Andreas and Stefankovic, Daniel and Vigoda, Eric and Yang, Linji}, title = {{Ferromagnetic Potts Model: Refined #BIS-hardness and Related Results}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {677--691}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47319}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.677}, annote = {Keywords: Ferromagnetic Potts model, approximate counting, spin systems, phase transition, random regular graphs} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 8, IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)

We introduce a new graph polynomial that encodes interesting properties of graphs, for example, the number of matchings, the number of perfect matchings, and, for bipartite graphs, the number of independent sets (#BIS).
We analyze the complexity of exact evaluation of the polynomial at rational points and show a dichotomy result---for most points exact evaluation is #P-hard (assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis) and for the rest of the points exact evaluation is trivial.
We propose a natural Markov chain to approximately evaluate the polynomial for a range of parameters. We prove an upper bound on the mixing time of the Markov chain on trees. As a by-product we show that the ``single bond flip'' Markov chain for the random cluster model is rapidly mixing on constant tree-width graphs.

Qi Ge and Daniel Stefankovic. A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs. In IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 8, pp. 240-250, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)

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@InProceedings{ge_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240, author = {Ge, Qi and Stefankovic, Daniel}, title = {{A graph polynomial for independent sets of bipartite graphs}}, booktitle = {IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)}, pages = {240--250}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-23-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2010}, volume = {8}, editor = {Lodaya, Kamal and Mahajan, Meena}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-28676}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.240}, annote = {Keywords: graph polynomials, #P-complete, independent sets, approximate counting problems, Markov chain Monte Carlo} }

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