Please help transcribe this video using our simple transcription tool. You need to be logged in to do so.


The hardcore model is a model of lattice gas systems which has received much attention in statistical physics, probability theory and theoretical computer science. It is the probability distribution over independent sets $I$ of a graph weighted proportionally to $lambda^{|I|}$ with fugacity parameter $lambda$. We prove that at the uniqueness threshold of the hardcore model on the $d$-regular tree, approximating the partition function becomes computationally hard.

Specifically, we show that unless NP$=$RP there is no polynomial time approximation scheme for the partition function (the sum of such weighted independent sets) on graphs of maximum degree $d$ for fugacity $lambda_c(d) < lambda < lambda_c(d) + varepsilon(d)$ where $$lambda_c = frac{(d-1)^{d-1}}{(d-2)^d}$$ is the uniqueness threshold on the $d$-regular tree and $varepsilon(d)>0$ is a positive constant. Weitz produced an FPTAS for approximating the partition function when $0<lambda < lambda_c(d)$ so this result demonstrates that the computation threshold exactly coincides with the statistical physics phase transition thus confirming the main conjecture of [MWW, '09]. We further analyze the special case of $lambda=1, d=6$ and show there is no polynomial time approximation scheme for approximately counting independent sets on graphs of maximum degree $d= 6$, which is optimal, improving the previous bound of $d= 24$.

Our proof is based on specially constructed random bi-partite graphs which act as gadgets in a reduction to MAX-CUT. Building on the involved second moment method analysis of cite{MWW:09} and combined with an analysis of the reconstruction problem on the tree our proof establishes a strong version of ``replica'' method heuristics developed by theoretical physicists. The result establishes the first rigorous correspondence between the hardness of approximate counting and sampling with statistical physics phase transitions.

Questions and Answers

You need to be logged in to be able to post here.