Monday, July 8, 2013

1307.1522 (Sukhwinder Singh et al.)

Global symmetries in tensor network states: symmetric tensors versus
minimal bond dimension

Sukhwinder Singh, Guifre Vidal
Tensor networks offer a variational formalism to efficiently represent wave-functions of extended quantum many-body systems on a lattice. In a tensor network N, the dimension \chi of the bond indices that connect its tensors controls the number of variational parameters and associated computational costs. In the absence of any symmetry, the minimal bond dimension \chi^{min} required to represent a given many-body wave-function |\Psi> leads to the most compact, computationally efficient tensor network description of |\Psi>. In the presence of a global, on-site symmetry, one can use a tensor network N_{sym} made of symmetric tensors. Symmetric tensors allow to exactly preserve the symmetry and to target specific quantum numbers, while their sparse structure leads to a compact description and lowers computational costs. In this paper we explore the trade-off between using a tensor network N with minimal bond dimension \chi^{min} and a tensor network N_{sym} made of symmetric tensors, where the minimal bond dimension \chi^{min}_{sym} might be larger than \chi^{min}. We present two technical results. First, we show that in a tree tensor network, which is the most general tensor network without loops, the minimal bond dimension can always be achieved with symmetric tensors, so that \chi^{min}_{sym} = \chi^{min}. Second, we provide explicit examples of tensor networks with loops where replacing tensors with symmetric ones necessarily increases the bond dimension, so that \chi_{sym}^{min} > \chi^{min}. We further argue, however, that in some situations there are important conceptual reasons to prefer a tensor network representation with symmetric tensors (and possibly larger bond dimension) over one with minimal bond dimension.
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