Minimally entangled typical thermal states versus matrix product purifications for the simulation of equilibrium states and time evolution
© 2015 American Physical Society. For the simulation of equilibrium states and finite-temperature response functions of strongly correlated quantum many-body systems, we compare the efficiencies of two different approaches in the framework of the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG). The first is based on matrix product purifications. The second, more recent one, is based on so-called minimally entangled typical thermal states (METTS). For the latter, we highlight the interplay of statistical and DMRG truncation errors, discuss the use of self-averaging effects, and describe schemes for the computation of response functions. For critical as well as gapped phases of the spin-1/2 XXZ chain and the one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard model, we assess the computation costs and accuracies of the two methods at different temperatures. For almost all considered cases, we find that, for the same computation cost, purifications yield more accurate results than METTS - often by orders of magnitude. The METTS algorithm becomes more efficient only for temperatures well below the system's energy gap. The exponential growth of the computation cost in the evaluation of response functions limits the attainable time scales in both methods and we find that in this regard, METTS do not outperform purifications.
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