Explicitly antisymmetrized neural network layers for variational Monte Carlo simulation
The combination of neural networks and quantum Monte Carlo methods has arisen as a path forward for highly accurate electronic structure calculations. Previous proposals have combined equivariant neural network layers with an antisymmetric layer to satisfy the antisymmetry requirements of the electronic wavefunction. However, to date it is unclear if one can represent antisymmetric functions of physical interest, and it is difficult to measure the expressiveness of the antisymmetric layer. This
... work attempts to address this problem by introducing explicitly antisymmetrized universal neural network layers as a diagnostic tool. We first introduce a generic antisymmetric (GA) layer, which we use to replace the entire antisymmetric layer of the highly accurate ansatz known as the FermiNet. We demonstrate that the resulting FermiNet-GA architecture can yield effectively the exact ground state energy for small systems. We then consider a factorized antisymmetric (FA) layer which more directly generalizes the FermiNet by replacing products of determinants with products of antisymmetrized neural networks. Interestingly, the resulting FermiNet-FA architecture does not outperform the FermiNet. This suggests that the sum of products of antisymmetries is a key limiting aspect of the FermiNet architecture. To explore this further, we investigate a slight modification of the FermiNet called the full determinant mode, which replaces each product of determinants with a single combined determinant. The full single-determinant FermiNet closes a large part of the gap between the standard single-determinant FermiNet and FermiNet-GA. Surprisingly, on the nitrogen molecule at a dissociating bond length of 4.0 Bohr, the full single-determinant FermiNet can significantly outperform the standard 64-determinant FermiNet, yielding an energy within 0.4 kcal/mol of the best available computational benchmark.