Dynamics and termination cost of spatially coupled mean-field models

Francesco Caltagirone 1 Silvio Franz 2 Richard Morris 1 Lenka Zdeborová 1

Physical Review E, American Physical Society, 2014, 89, pp.012102

This work is motivated by recent progress in information theory and signal processing where the so-called 'spatially coupled' design of systems leads to considerably better performance. We address relevant open questions about spatially coupled systems through the study of a simple Ising model. In particular, we consider a chain of Curie-Weiss models that are coupled by interactions up to a certain range. Indeed, it is well known that the pure (uncoupled) Curie-Weiss model undergoes a first order phase transition driven by the magnetic field, and furthermore, in the spinodal region such systems are unable to reach equilibrium in sub-exponential time if initialized in the metastable state. By contrast, the spatially coupled system is, instead, able to reach the equilibrium even when initialized to the metastable state. The equilibrium phase propagates along the chain in the form of a travelling wave. Here we study the speed of the wave-front and the so-called 'termination cost'--- \textit{i.e.}, the conditions necessary for the propagation to occur. We reach several interesting conclusions about optimization of the speed and the cost.

  • 1. IPHT - Institut de Physique Théorique (ex SPhT)
  • 2. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques