Simulating sticky particles: A Monte Carlo method to sample a Stratification

by   Miranda Holmes-Cerfon, et al.

Many problems in materials science and biology involve particles interacting with strong, short-ranged bonds, that can break and form on experimental timescales. Treating such bonds as constraints can significantly speed up sampling their equilibrium distribution, and there are several methods to sample subject to fixed constraints. We introduce a Monte Carlo method to handle the case when constraints can break and form. Abstractly, the method samples a probability distribution on a stratification: a collection of manifolds of different dimensions, where the lower-dimensional manifolds lie on the boundaries of the higher-dimensional manifolds. We show several applications of the method in polymer physics, self-assembly of colloids, and volume calculation in high dimensions.


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