## Variational characterization of free energy: Theory and algorithms

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-65045
• The article surveys and extends variational formulations of the thermodynamic free energy and discusses their information-theoretic content from the perspective of mathematical statistics. We revisit the well-known Jarzynski equality for nonequilibrium free energy sampling within the framework of importance sampling and Girsanov change-of-measure transformations. The implications of the different variational formulations for designing efficient stochastic optimization and nonequilibrium simulation algorithms for computing free energies are discussed and illustrated.

$Rev: 13581$