Approximation algorithms for the random-field Ising model [article]

Tyler Helmuth, Holden Lee, Will Perkins, Mohan Ravichandran, Qiang Wu
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Approximating the partition function of the ferromagnetic Ising model with general external fields is known to be #BIS-hard in the worst case, even for bounded-degree graphs, and it is widely believed that no polynomial-time approximation scheme exists. This motivates an average-case question: are there classes of instances for which polynomial-time approximation schemes exist? We investigate this question for the random field Ising model on graphs with maximum degree Δ. We establish the
more » ... ce of fully polynomial-time approximation schemes and samplers with high probability over the random fields if the external fields are IID Gaussians with variance larger than a constant depending only on the inverse temperature and Δ. The main challenge comes from the positive density of vertices at which the external field is small. These regions, which may have connected components of size Θ(log n), are a barrier to algorithms based on establishing a zero-free region, and cause worst-case analyses of Glauber dynamics to fail. The analysis of our algorithm is based on percolation on a self-avoiding walk tree.
arXiv:2108.11889v1 fatcat:dlnsqyly7bacnlq37qizklbxou