Neural network wave functions and the sign problem

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Neural network wave functions and the sign problem
2020. 10. 19. 14:15
online (Teams)
Attila Szabo (Cambridge)

Neural quantum states (NQS) are a promising approach to study many-body quantum physics. However, they face a major challenge when applied to lattice models: Convolutional networks struggle to converge to ground states with a nontrivial sign structure. We tackle this problem by proposing a neural network architecture with a simple, explicit, and interpretable phase ansatz, which can robustly represent such states and achieve state-of-the-art variational energies for both conventional and frustrated antiferromagnets. In the latter case, our approach uncovers low-energy states that exhibit the Marshall sign rule and are therefore inconsistent with the expected ground state. Such states are the likely cause of the obstruction for NQS-based variational Monte Carlo to access the true ground states of these systems. We discuss the implications of this observation and suggest potential strategies to overcome the problem. (