Cavity and replica methods for the spectral density of sparse symmetric random matrices

Submission summary

 As Contributors: Pierpaolo Vivo Arxiv Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.08029v3 (pdf) Date submitted: 2021-05-11 10:24 Submitted by: Vivo, Pierpaolo Submitted to: SciPost Physics Lecture Notes Academic field: Physics Specialties: Statistical and Soft Matter Physics Approach: Theoretical

Abstract

We review the problem of how to compute the spectral density of sparse symmetric random matrices, i.e. weighted adjacency matrices of undirected graphs. Starting from the Edwards-Jones formula, we illustrate the milestones of this line of research, including the pioneering work of Bray and Rodgers using replicas. We focus first on the cavity method, showing that it quickly provides the correct recursion equations both for single instances and at the ensemble level. We also describe an alternative replica solution that proves to be equivalent to the cavity method. Both the cavity and the replica derivations allow us to obtain the spectral density via the solution of an integral equation for an auxiliary probability density function. We show that this equation can be solved using a stochastic population dynamics algorithm, and we provide its implementation. In this formalism, the spectral density is naturally written in terms of a superposition of local contributions from nodes of given degree, whose role is thoroughly elucidated. This paper does not contain original material, but rather gives a pedagogical overview of the topic. It is indeed addressed to students and researchers who consider entering the field. Both the theoretical tools and the numerical algorithms are discussed in detail, highlighting conceptual subtleties and practical aspects.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Dear Editor

we would like to resubmit our paper "Cavity and replica methods for the spectral density of sparse symmetric random matrices" for publication in Sci Post Lecture Notes series.

The referees provided interesting and valuable comments that helped us improve the quality of our work, therefore we wish to sincerely thank them.

We provide below a point-to-point reply to their reports, including a detailed list of changes made to the manuscript.

Referee 1

-->{References that would enrich the present manuscript. }

We thank Referee 1 for pointing out these references. We have incorporated them in the Introduction of the revised version of the paper and also in Section 4 when relevant. We believe that including these sources has greatly improved the breadth of our review.

--->{Connection between the spectral density and the resolvent.}

We followed the advice of the referee to include an explanation of the relation between the spectral density and the resolvent. To this purpose we have added Section 3.5 to the manuscript. We also establish the correspondence between the variables $\omega$ and the resolvent.
Moreover, in the Conclusions we suggest a way to study the square of eigenvector's components through the resolvent.

--->{Section 4.4: the $\mathcal{O}(1/c)$ correction to the Wigner semicircle. }

We thank the referee for raising this point. In fact, we noticed that the $\mathcal{O}(1/c)$ correction to the Wigner semicircle was already at hand in Section 4.4. Indeed, it was contained in the formula for the integral $I_A$ (now Eq. (112)).
Thus, we have amended Section 4.4 by including the explicit calculation of the $\mathcal{O}(1/c)$ term. We have also checked our analytical results against numerical diagonalisation. The section has been amended according to the other suggestions of the referee concerning this section. Moreover, we have added a final paragraph where we illustrate an alternative strategy for the evaluation of the large $c$ limit of the spectral density within the replica formalism. Although some further bits could be still shortened, we feel that keeping a more pedagogical" approach -- where more steps than strictly necessary are spelt out in full details -- may not hurt, especially the less experienced readership.

--->{Open problems in the final section.}

We have taken this comment fully on board. The second half of the Conclusions is now devoted to the descriptions of further research lines in the field. As mentioned before, we indicated a strategy for the investigation of eigenvectors through the resolvent formalism. Moreover, we also introduced the open problem of finite size effects at the localisation transition, providing relevant references. We also described another interesting pathway, represented by the study of the behaviour of the population dynamics algorithm at the transition.

Referee 2:

--->{Lack of broad overview on the motivations.}

We have taken the referee's comment fully on board. We have enriched the Introduction by illustrating various applications in physics of the spectral density of random matrix. In the same section we have also introduced the topic of Anderson localisation, and how the spectra of sparse random matrices have provided a framework for its study.
Consequently, and also thanks to Referee 1's suggestions, the bibliography has been expanded.

--->{Lack of a perspective on the open problems and interesting new directions.}

We have taken this comment fully on board. The second half of the Conclusions is now devoted to the descriptions of further research line in the field. As mentioned before, we indicated a strategy for the investigation of eigenvectors through the resolvent formalism. Moreover, we also introduced the open problem of finite size effects at the localisation transition, providing relevant references. We also described another interesting pathway, represented by the study of the behaviour of the population dynamics algorithm at the transition.

We trust that with these modifications the paper is now ready to be accepted for publication in Sci Post Lecture Notes series.

Vito Antonio Rocco Susca, Pierpaolo Vivo and Reimer K\"uhn

List of changes

--->{One should mention that $c_{ii}=0$ around eq. (17).

This has been done in the paragraph just before Eq. (17).

--->{The sentence "In this very sparse regime...thermodynamic limit is taken." on page 8 is a bit ambiguous. I suggest the authors
reformulate it in a clearer way.}

This has been done. The sentence has been replaced as follows.
"In this very sparse regime, the cavity method predictions are approximate for sparse graphs of finite size $N$, whereas they are exact for finite trees. However, the cavity results becomes asymptotically exact on finitely connected networks in the limit $N\to\infty$ (i.e. in
the thermodynamic limit)."

--->{Please, specify that eq. (24) is exact only for $N\to\infty$.}

This has been done right after Eq. (24).

--->{Maybe it is a good idea to highlight in section 3.2 that the cavity equations have been rigorously proven in [32].}

This has been done on page 8, right after the modified sentence quoted in point b).

--->{The authors introduce the spectral density of a single instance in eq. (32). I wonder whether this quantity
has any interest, given that the spectral density of a finite system is a collection of $\delta$-peaks. In
practice, one always ends up taking the limit $N\to\infty$. In addition, the rhs of eq. (32) is valid strictly for $N\to\infty$.
Thus, in case the authors decide to keep eq. (32), it is better to highlight that this equation is an approximation for finite $N$.}

Since in Section 3.2 we describe the single instance case, we have decided to keep Eq. (32). Following the referee's remark, we have added an explanatory note right after Eq. (32), though.

--->{ It seems that a factor $N$ is missing in eq. (63).}

The referee is right. We have corrected Eq. (63) (now Eq. (69)).

--->{ I do not understand "which diverges for any finite $z$" just below eq. (100).}

Right after Eq. (108) (former Eq. (100)), the quoted sentence has been replaced with "The series is divergent for any finite $z$".

--->{I found the explanation around eqs. (113) and (114) quite confusing. Maybe it is better to discuss
how the spectral density transforms as soon as you introduce the change of variables, eqs. (87-89).}

The discussion about the rescaling of the spectral density has been moved and more thoroughly discussed right after the change of variables. See Eq. (93) to (97) in the new version.

--->{The authors write "These effects are much...degree $c$ increases" on page 31. It is not possible
to draw this conclusion from figure 4, which presents results only for $\varepsilon=10^{-3}$. It'd be interesting to complete figure 4 with results for $\varepsilon=10^{-300}$. It'd be even better to see a graph of the point where the continuous spectrum vanishes as a function of $c$.}

This has been done. An extra plot can be found in Figure 4, where we compare the population dynamics results for $\varepsilon=10^{-3}$ with results for $\varepsilon=10^{-300}$ and results from numerical direct diagonalisation in logarithmic scale. The extra plot has been also commented on in the main text.

Moreover, in Figure 5 a plot comparing the continuous part of the spectrum for growing values of the mean degree $c$ has been added.

--->{ Section 6 discusses too many implementation details that, in my
opinion, are not very helpful. The introduction of so many
quantities to describe precisely how to implement the algorithm
(in particular, the discussion about measurement sweeps) distracts
the reader. Are $\mathcal{M}$ and $N_P$ the same quantity?}

We have clarified that $\mathcal{M}$ and $N_P$ are not the same quantity and are not related to each other. We have cleaned up part of the section on implementation details. We believe, however, that some of the
practical details provided in Section 6 may be useful as general instructions to help the reader build their own code. We believe the section is now more balanced.

Submission & Refereeing History

Resubmission 2101.08029v3 on 11 May 2021
Submission 2101.08029v2 on 2 February 2021

Reports on this Submission

Report

I recommed publication.

• validity: -
• significance: -
• originality: -
• clarity: -
• formatting: -
• grammar: -

Report

The authors have implemented several changes and the quality of the manuscript has improved in a significant way. In particular, the authors have added an extensive discussion of open problems in the final section, which is important to stimulate those entering in the field. I also appreciate very much the improvements in section 4.4, the inclusion of eq. (128), and the corresponding comparison with numerical diagonalization (figure 4). These explicit results are interesting and they may serve as an important guide for future studies of the spectral properties in the high connectivity limit.

I just have two remarks:

1) After eq. (128), the authors say that the normalization of the spectral density is fulfilled at any order in 1/c, since the 1/c correction is even. It gives
the impression that this is a sufficient condition, which is not really precise. It is more correct to say that normalization implies that the integral of $\rho_1(x)$ over [-2,2] is zero. An analogous counterexample appears in the calculation of the 1/N correction to the spectral density of regular random graphs: the 1/N correction to the Kesten-McKay distribution is not an even function around x=0, but its integral is zero.

2) Below eq. (164), the authors argue that this equation may cease to be valid above the percolation transition, because of the presence of cycles. If this is correct and the tree-like assumption fails, why does the spectral density is well captured by the cavity equations above percolation? Besides that, there is plenty of evidence in other fields (spin-glasses, information science, etc) that the tree-like assumption holds above the percolation threshold, so the argument of the authors is not really supported by evidence.

• validity: good
• significance: good
• originality: ok
• clarity: good
• formatting: good
• grammar: good