Skip to main content

Optimization Algorithms in Physics

Optimization Algorithms in Physics

Alexander K. Hartmann, Heiko Rieger

ISBN: 978-3-527-60087-8

May 2003

320 pages

Select type: Wiley Online Book


The past few years have witnessed a substantial growth in the number of applications for optimization algorithms in solving problems in the field of physics. Examples include determining the structure of molecules, estimating the parameters of interacting galaxies, the ground states of electronic quantum systems, the behavior of disordered magnetic materials, and phase transitions in combinatorial optimization problems.
This book serves as an introduction to the field, while also presenting a complete overview of modern algorithms. The authors begin with the relevant foundations from computer science, graph theory and statistical physics, before moving on to thoroughly explain algorithms - backed by illustrative examples. They include pertinent mathematical transformations, which in turn are used to make the physical problems tractable with methods from combinatorial optimization. Throughout, a number of interesting results are shown for all physical examples. The final chapter provides numerous practical hints on software development, testing programs, and evaluating the results of computer experiments.
Introduction to Optimization
Complexity Theory
Simple Graph Algorithms
Introduction to Statistical Physics
Maximum-Flow Methods
Minimum-Cost Flow Problems
Genetic Algorithms
Monte-Carlo Methods
Approximation Methods for Spin Glasses
Matching Algorithms
Branch-and-Bound Methods
Practical Issues
""...und es ist das große Verdienst der Autoren des vorliegenden Buches, hierüber die erste Monografie geschrieben zu haben, die sowohl die physikalische Anwendungen als auch die Grundlagen aus der Informatik etwa gleichgewichtig darstellt...eine Fundgrube für Spezialisten und sollte in keiner Bibliothek von Physikinstituten fehlen""
Physik Journal, 2002