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Statistical mechanics of large optimisation problems

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Fabien Petitcolas.

Abstract: There are many points in common between statistical mechanics of disorder systems and optimisation of large random problems.

In the recent years many results have been obtained by applying the techniques developed in the study of disordered systems to optimisation theory. This cross-fertilisation process between two different fields has been quite fruitful.

Statistical mechanics tools are very sophisticated and powerful: they have an intermediate status between heuristic and rigorous techniques. By using them, one can obtain exact results for optimisation theory. Better algorithms for solving optimisation problems can be found. The results obtained by constraint optimisation problems are particularly interesting.

Biography: Giorgio Parisi is Professor of Quantum Theories, Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. He graduated from Rome University in 1970.

He is co-author of the book “Spin glass theory and beyond” that has been very influential on the theory of statistical mechanics of random systems.

Giorgio Parisi has authored about 450 scientific publications and about 60 contributions to congresses or schools. His main research activity is in the field of elementary particles, theory of phase transitions and statistical mechanics, mathematical physics and string theory, disordered systems (spin glasses and complex systems), neural networks, theoretical immunology, computers and very large scale simulations of quantum chromodynamics (the APE project), non equilibrium statistical physics, optimisation and animal behaviour.

In his work he has also stressed the importance of large scale simulations for supporting the progress of the theory and for a meaningful comparison of the theory with experiments.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Computational Science Seminars series.

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