TY - JOUR

T1 - Self-healing diffusion quantum Monte Carlo algorithms

T2 - Direct reduction of the fermion sign error in electronic structure calculations

AU - Reboredo, F. A.

AU - Hood, R. Q.

AU - Kent, P. R.C.

PY - 2009/5/1

Y1 - 2009/5/1

N2 - We develop a formalism and present an algorithm for optimization of the trial wave function used in fixed-node diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) methods. The formalism is based on the DMC mixed estimator of the ground-state probability density. We take advantage of a basic property of the walker configuration distribution generated in a DMC calculation, to (i) project out a multideterminant expansion of the fixed-node ground-state wave function and (ii) to define a cost function that relates the fixed-node ground-state and the noninteracting trial wave functions. We show that (a) locally smoothing out the kink of the fixed-node ground-state wave function at the node generates a new trial wave function with better nodal structure and (b) we argue that the noise in the fixed-node wave function resulting from finite sampling plays a beneficial role, allowing the nodes to adjust toward the ones of the exact many-body ground state in a simulated annealing-like process. Based on these principles, we propose a method to improve both single determinant and multideterminant expansions of the trial wave function. The method can be generalized to other wave-function forms such as pfaffians. We test the method in a model system where benchmark configuration-interaction calculations can be performed and most components of the Hamiltonian are evaluated analytically. Comparing the DMC calculations with the exact solutions, we find that the trial wave function is systematically improved. The overlap of the optimized trial wave function and the exact ground state converges to 100% even starting from wave functions orthogonal to the exact ground state. Similarly, the DMC total energy and density converges to the exact solutions for the model. In the optimization process we find an optimal noninteracting nodal potential of density-functional-like form whose existence was predicted in a previous publication. Tests of the method are extended to a model system with a conventional Coulomb interaction where we show we can obtain the exact Kohn-Sham effective potential from the DMC data.

AB - We develop a formalism and present an algorithm for optimization of the trial wave function used in fixed-node diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) methods. The formalism is based on the DMC mixed estimator of the ground-state probability density. We take advantage of a basic property of the walker configuration distribution generated in a DMC calculation, to (i) project out a multideterminant expansion of the fixed-node ground-state wave function and (ii) to define a cost function that relates the fixed-node ground-state and the noninteracting trial wave functions. We show that (a) locally smoothing out the kink of the fixed-node ground-state wave function at the node generates a new trial wave function with better nodal structure and (b) we argue that the noise in the fixed-node wave function resulting from finite sampling plays a beneficial role, allowing the nodes to adjust toward the ones of the exact many-body ground state in a simulated annealing-like process. Based on these principles, we propose a method to improve both single determinant and multideterminant expansions of the trial wave function. The method can be generalized to other wave-function forms such as pfaffians. We test the method in a model system where benchmark configuration-interaction calculations can be performed and most components of the Hamiltonian are evaluated analytically. Comparing the DMC calculations with the exact solutions, we find that the trial wave function is systematically improved. The overlap of the optimized trial wave function and the exact ground state converges to 100% even starting from wave functions orthogonal to the exact ground state. Similarly, the DMC total energy and density converges to the exact solutions for the model. In the optimization process we find an optimal noninteracting nodal potential of density-functional-like form whose existence was predicted in a previous publication. Tests of the method are extended to a model system with a conventional Coulomb interaction where we show we can obtain the exact Kohn-Sham effective potential from the DMC data.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67649133365&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.195117

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.195117

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:67649133365

SN - 1098-0121

VL - 79

JO - Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

JF - Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

IS - 19

M1 - 195117

ER -