Measuring the Irreversibility of Numerical Schemes for Reversible Stochastic Differential Equations

Markos Katsoulakis, Yannis Pantazis, Luc Rey-Bellet
2014 Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis  
For a Markov process the detailed balance condition is equivalent to the time-reversibility of the process. For stochastic differential equations (SDE's) time discretization numerical schemes usually destroy the property of time-reversibility. Despite an extensive literature on the numerical analysis for SDE's, their stability properties, strong and/or weak error estimates, large deviations and infinite-time estimates, no quantitative results are known on the lack of reversibility of the
more » ... ility of the discrete-time approximation process. In this paper we provide such quantitative estimates by using the concept of entropy production rate, inspired by ideas from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The entropy production rate for a stochastic process is defined as the relative entropy (per unit time) of the path measure of the process with respect to the path measure of the time-reversed process. By construction the entropy production rate is nonnegative and it vanishes if and only if the process is reversible. Crucially, from a numerical point of view, the entropy production rate is an {\em a posteriori} quantity, hence it can be computed in the course of a simulation as the ergodic average of a certain functional of the process (the so-called Gallavotti-Cohen (GC) action functional). We compute the entropy production for various numerical schemes such as explicit Euler-Maruyama and explicit Milstein's for reversible SDEs with additive or multiplicative noise. Additionally, we analyze the entropy production for the BBK integrator of the Langevin processes. We show that entropy production is an observable that distinguishes between different numerical schemes in terms of their discretization-induced irreversibility. Furthermore, our results show that the type of the noise critically affects the behavior of the entropy production rate.
doi:10.1051/m2an/2013142 fatcat:razmyw2t4ndknn45w2v2swl3sa