Feedback-optimized parallel tempering Monte Carlo

Helmut G. Katzgraber, Simon Trebst, David A. Huse, Matthias Troyer

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244 Scopus citations


We introduce an algorithm for systematically improving the efficiency of parallel tempering Monte Carlo simulations by optimizing the simulated temperature set. Our approach is closely related to a recently introduced adaptive algorithm that optimizes the simulated statistical ensemble in generalized broad-histogram Monte Carlo simulations. Conventionally, a temperature set is chosen in such a way that the acceptance rates for replica swaps between adjacent temperatures are independent of the temperature and large enough to ensure frequent swaps. In this paper, we show that by choosing the temperatures with a modified version of the optimized ensemble feedback method we can minimize the round-trip times between the lowest and highest temperatures which effectively increases the efficiency of the parallel tempering algorithm. In particular, the density of temperatures in the optimized temperature set increases at the 'bottlenecks' of the simulation, such as phase transitions. In turn, the acceptance rates are now temperature dependent in the optimized temperature ensemble. We illustrate the feedback-optimized parallel tempering algorithm by studying the two-dimensional Ising ferromagnet and the two-dimensional fully frustrated Ising model, and briefly discuss possible feedback schemes for systems that require configurational averages, such as spin glasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberP03018
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Classical Monte Carlo simulations
  • Other numerical approaches


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