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We introduce a hierarchical class of approximations of the random Ising spin glass in d dimensions. The attention is focused on finite clusters of spins where the action of the rest of the system is properly taken into account. At the lower level (cluster of a single spin) our approximation coincides with the SK model while at the highest level it coincides with the true d-dimensional system. The method is variational and it uses the replica approach to spin glasses and the Parisi ansatz fordoi:10.1088/0305-4470/31/18/005 fatcat:r6zj2edwwbdo5h26bajftxx23q