Navigator function for the conformal bootstrap

Marten Reehorst, Slava Rychkov, David Simmons-Duffin, Benoit Sirois, Ning Su, Balt van Rees

SciPost Phys. 11, 072 (2021) · published 28 September 2021


Current numerical conformal bootstrap techniques carve out islands in theory space by repeatedly checking whether points are allowed or excluded. We propose a new method for searching theory space that replaces the binary information “allowed”/“excluded” with a continuous “navigator” function that is negative in the allowed region and positive in the excluded region. Such a navigator function allows one to efficiently explore high-dimensional parameter spaces and smoothly sail towards any islands they may contain. The specific functions we introduce have several attractive features: they are well-defined in large regions of parameter space, can be computed with standard methods, and evaluation of their gradient is immediate due to an SDP gradient formula that we provide. The latter property allows for the use of efficient quasi-Newton optimization methods, which we illustrate by navigating towards the 3d Ising island.

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