Entropic algorithms and the lid method as exploration tools for complex landscapes

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

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Monte Carlo algorithms such as the Wang-Landau algorithm and similar `entropic' methods are able to accurately sample the density of states of model systems and thereby give access to thermal equilibrium properties at any temperature. Thermal equilibrium is however not achievable at low temperatures in glassy systems. Such systems are characterized by a multitude of metastable configurations, pictorially referred to as `valleys' of an energy landscape. Geometrical properties of the landscape, e.g. the local density of states describing the distribution in energy of the states belonging to a single valley, are key to understand the dynamical properties of such systems. In this paper we combine the lid algorithm, a tool for landscape exploration previously applied to a range of models, with the Wang-Swendsen algorithm. To test this improved exploration tool, we consider a paradigmatic complex system, the Edwards-Andersom model in two and three spatial dimension. We find a striking difference between the energy dependence of the local density of states in the two cases: nearly flat in the first case, and nearly exponential in the second. The lid dependence of the data is analyzed to estimate the form of the global density of states.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics)
Pages (from-to)03708
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011