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Approximating the permanent
 SIAM J. Computing
, 1989
"... Abstract. A randomised approximation scheme for the permanent of a 01 matrix is presented. The task of estimating a permanent is reduced to that of almost uniformly generating perfect matchings in a graph; the latter is accomplished by simulating a Markov chain whose states are the matchings in the ..."
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Cited by 298 (24 self)
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Abstract. A randomised approximation scheme for the permanent of a 01 matrix is presented. The task of estimating a permanent is reduced to that of almost uniformly generating perfect matchings in a graph; the latter is accomplished by simulating a Markov chain whose states are the matchings in the graph. For a wide class of 01 matrices the approximation scheme is fullypolynomial, i.e., runs in time polynomial in the size of the matrix and a parameter that controls the accuracy of the output. This class includes all dense matrices (those that contain sufficiently many l’s) and almost all sparse matrices in some reasonable probabilistic model for 01 matrices of given density. For the approach sketched above to be computationally efficient, the Markov chain must be rapidly mixing: informally, it must converge in a short time to its stationary distribution. A major portion of the paper is devoted to demonstrating that the matchings chain is rapidly mixing, apparently the first such result for a Markov chain with genuinely complex structure. The techniques used seem to have general applicability, and are applied again in the paper to validate a fullypolynomial randomised approximation scheme for the partition function of an arbitrary monomerdimer system.
The Markov Chain Monte Carlo method: an approach to approximate counting and integration
, 1996
"... In the area of statistical physics, Monte Carlo algorithms based on Markov chain simulation have been in use for many years. The validity of these algorithms depends crucially on the rate of convergence to equilibrium of the Markov chain being simulated. Unfortunately, the classical theory of stocha ..."
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Cited by 241 (12 self)
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In the area of statistical physics, Monte Carlo algorithms based on Markov chain simulation have been in use for many years. The validity of these algorithms depends crucially on the rate of convergence to equilibrium of the Markov chain being simulated. Unfortunately, the classical theory of stochastic processes hardly touches on the sort of nonasymptotic analysis required in this application. As a consequence, it had previously not been possible to make useful, mathematically rigorous statements about the quality of the estimates obtained. Within the last ten years, analytical tools have been devised with the aim of correcting this deficiency. As well as permitting the analysis of Monte Carlo algorithms for classical problems in statistical physics, the introduction of these tools has spurred the development of new approximation algorithms for a wider class of problems in combinatorial enumeration and optimization. The “Markov chain Monte Carlo ” method has been applied to a variety of such problems, and often provides the only known efficient (i.e., polynomial time) solution technique.
Simulated annealing for graph bisection
 in Proceedings of the 34th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
, 1993
"... We resolve in the affirmative a question of Boppana and Bui: whether simulated annealing can, with high probability and in polynomial time, find the optimal bisection of a random graph in Gnpr when p r = O(n*’) for A 5 2. (The random graph model Gnpr specifies a “planted ” bisection of density r, ..."
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Cited by 35 (1 self)
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We resolve in the affirmative a question of Boppana and Bui: whether simulated annealing can, with high probability and in polynomial time, find the optimal bisection of a random graph in Gnpr when p r = O(n*’) for A 5 2. (The random graph model Gnpr specifies a “planted ” bisection of density r, separating two n/2vertex subsets of slightly higher density p.) We show that simulated “annealing ” at an appropriate fixed temperature (i.e., the Metropolis algorithm) finds the unique smallest bisection in O(n2+‘) steps with very high probability, provided A> 1116. (By using a slightly modified neighborhood structure, the number of steps can be reduced to O(n’+‘).) We leave open the question of whether annealing is effective for A in the range 312 < A 5 1116, whose lower limit represents the threshold at which the planted bisection becomes lost amongst other random small bisections. It also remains open whether hillclimbing (i.e., annealing at temperature 0) solves the same problem. 1