Path coupling: A technique for proving rapid mixing in Markov chains

  title={Path coupling: A technique for proving rapid mixing in Markov chains},
  author={Russ Bubley and Martin E. Dyer},
  journal={Proceedings 38th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science},
  • Russ Bubley, M. Dyer
  • Published 19 October 1997
  • Mathematics
  • Proceedings 38th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
The main technique used in algorithm design for approximating #P-hard counting problems is the Markov chain Monte Carlo method. At the heart of the method is the study of the convergence (mixing) rates of particular Markov chains of interest. In this paper we illustrate a new approach to the coupling technique, which we call path coupling, for bounding mixing rates. Previous applications of coupling have required detailed insights into the combinatorics of the problem at hand, and this… 

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