A general limitation on Monte Carlo algorithms of the Metropolis type

Sergio Caracciolo, Andrea Pelissetto, Alan D. Sokal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    We prove that for any Monte Carlo algorithm of Metropolis type, the autocorraletion time of a suitable "energy"-like observable is bounded below by a multiple of the corresponding "specific heat." This bound does not depend on whether the proposed moves are local or nonlocal; it depends only on the distance between the desired probability distribution π and the probability distribution π(0) for which the proposal matrix satisfies detailed balance. We show, with several examples, that this result is particularly powerful when applied to nonlocal algorithms.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)179-182
    Number of pages4
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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