Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1211.6182 (Antonio Blanca et al.)

Phase Coexistence and Slow Mixing for the Hard-Core Model on Z^2    [PDF]

Antonio Blanca, David Galvin, Dana Randall ans Prasad Tetali
In the hard-core model on a finite graph we are given a parameter lambda>0, and an independent set I arises with probability proportional to lambda^|I|. On infinite graphs a Gibbs distribution is defined as a suitable limit with the correct conditional probabilities. In the infinite setting we are interested in determining when this limit is unique and when there is phase coexistence, i.e., existence of multiple Gibbs states. On finite graphs we are interested in determining the mixing time of local Markov chains. On Z^2 it is conjectured that these problems are related and that both undergo a phase transition at some critical point lambda_c approx 3.79. For phase coexistence, much of the work to date has focused on the regime of uniqueness, with the best result being recent work of Restrepo et al. showing that there is a unique Gibbs state for all lambda < 2.3882. Here we give the first non-trivial result in the other direction, showing that there are multiple Gibbs states for all lambda > 5.3646. Our proof adds two significant innovations to the standard Peierls argument. First, building on the idea of fault lines introduced by Randall, we construct an event that distinguishes two boundary conditions and always has long contours associated with it, obviating the need to accurately enumerate short contours. Second, we obtain vastly improved bounds on the number of contours by relating them to a new class of self-avoiding walks on an oriented version of Z^2. We extend our characterization of fault lines to show that local Markov chains will mix slowly when lambda > 5.3646 on lattice regions with periodic (toroidal) boundary conditions and when lambda > 7.1031 with non-periodic (free) boundary conditions. The arguments here rely on a careful analysis that relates contours to taxi walks and represent a sevenfold improvement to the previously best known values of \lambda.
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