Random Structures & Algorithms

Swendsen‐Wang dynamics for general graphsin the tree uniqueness region

Early View

The Swendsen‐Wang (SW) dynamics is a popular Markov chain for sampling from the Gibbs distribution for the ferromagnetic Ising model on a graph G = (V,E). The dynamics is conjectured to converge to equilibrium in O(|V|1/4) steps at any (inverse) temperature β, yet there are few results providing o(|V|) upper bounds. We prove fast convergence of the SW dynamics on general graphs in the tree uniqueness region. In particular, when β < βc(d) where βc(d) denotes the uniqueness/nonuniqueness threshold on infinite d‐regular trees, we prove that the relaxation time (ie, the inverse spectral gap) of the SW dynamics is Θ(1) on any graph of maximum degree d ≥ 3. Our proof utilizes a monotone version of the SW dynamics which only updates isolated vertices. We establish that this variant of the SW dynamics has mixing time and relaxation time Θ(1) on any graph of maximum degree d for all β < βc(d). Our proof technology can be applied to general monotone Markov chains, including for example the heat‐bath block dynamics, for which we obtain new tight mixing time bounds.

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