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The structural and thermodynamic properties of minerals are strongly affected by cation site-ordering processes. We describe methods to determine the main interatomic interactions that drive the ordering process, which are based on parameterizing model Hamiltonians using empirical interatomic potentials and/or ab initio quantum mechanics methods. The methods are illustrated by a number of case study examples, including Al/Si ordering in aluminosilicates, Mg/Ca ordering in garnets, simultaneousdoi:10.1180/002646101550226 fatcat:34hh5vc2n5hpbiv4cixsba6rqu