Machine learning phases in statistical physics
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Conventionally, the study of phases in statistical mechan- ics is performed with the help of random sampling tools. Among the most powerful are Monte Carlo simulations consisting of a stochastic importance sampling over state space and evaluation of estimators for physical quantities. The ability of modern machine learning techniques to classify, identify, or in- terpret massive data sets provides a complementary paradigm to the above approach to analyze the exponentially large number of states in statistical physics. In this report, it is demonstrated by application on Ising-type models that deep learning has potential wide applications in solving many-body statis- tical physics problems. In application of supervised learning, we showed that the feed-forward neural network can identify phases and phase transitions in the ferromagnetic Ising model and the convolutional neural network (CNN) is extremely powerful in classifying T = 0 and T = ∞ phases in the Ising gauge model; In application of unsupervised learning, we illustrated that a deep auto-encoder constructed by stacked restricted Boltzmann machines (RBM) is closely related to the renormalization group (RG) method well understood in modern physics and our reconstruction of Ising spin configurations in the ferromagnetic Ising model is similar to the hand-written digits reconstruction.