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Uncoupling-coupling Monte Carlo (UCMC) combines uncoupling techniques for finite Markov chains with Markov chain Monte Carlo methodology. By determining almost invariant sets of the associated Markov operator, the Monte Carlo sampling splits by a hierarchical annealing process into the essential regions of the state space; therefore UCMC aims at avoiding the typical metastable behavior of Monte Carlo techniques. From the viewpoint of Monte Carlo, a slowly converging long-time Markov chain is replaced by a limited number of rapidly mixing short-time ones. The correct weighting factors for the various Markov chains are obtained via a coupling matrix, that connects the samplings from the different almost invariant sets. The underlying mathematical structure of this approach is given by a general examination of the uncoupling-coupling procedure. Furthermore, the overall algorithmic scheme of UCMC is applied to the $n$-pentane molecule, a well-known example from molecular dynamics.

Recently, a novel concept for the computation of essential features of the dynamics of Hamiltonian systems (such as molecular dynamics) has been proposed. The realization of this concept had been based on subdivision techniques applied to the Frobenius--Perron operator for the dynamical system. The present paper suggests an alternative but related concept that merges the conceptual advantages of the dynamical systems approach with the appropriate statistical physics framework. This approach allows to define the phrase ``conformation'' in terms of the dynamical behavior of the molecular system and to characterize the dynamical stability of conformations. In a first step, the frequency of conformational changes is characterized in statistical terms leading to the definition of some Markov operator $T$ that describes the corresponding transition probabilities within the canonical ensemble. In a second step, a discretization of $T$ via specific hybrid Monte Carlo techniques is shown to lead to a stochastic matrix $P$. With these theoretical preparations, an identification algorithm for conformations is applicable. It is demonstrated that the discretization of $T$ can be restricted to few essential degrees of freedom so that the combinatorial explosion of discretization boxes is prevented and biomolecular systems can be attacked. Numerical results for the n-pentane molecule and the triribonucleotide adenylyl\emph{(3'-5')}cytidylyl\emph{(3'-5')}cytidin are given and interpreted.

A hybrid Monte Carlo method with adaptive temperature choice is presented, which exactly generates the distribution of a mixed-canonical ensemble composed of two canonical ensembles at low and high temperature. The analysis of resulting Markov chains with the reweighting technique shows an efficient sampling of the canonical distribution at low temperature, whereas the high temperature component facilitates conformational transitions, which allows shorter simulation times. \\The algorithm was tested by comparing analytical and numerical results for the small n-butane molecule before simulations were performed for a triribonucleotide. Sampling the complex multi-minima energy landscape of these small RNA segments, we observed enforced crossing of energy barriers.

The topic of the present paper bas been motivated by a recent computational approach to identify chemical conformations and conformational changes within molecular systems. After proper discretization, the conformations show up as almost invariant aggregates in reversible nearly uncoupled Markov chains. Most of the former work on this subject treated the direct problem: given the aggregates, analyze the loose coupling in connection with the computation of the stationary distribution (aggregation/disaggregation techniques). In contrast to that the present paper focuses on the inverse problem: given the system as a whole, identify the almost invariant aggregates together with the associated transition probabilites. A rather simple and robust algorithm is suggested and illustrated by its application to the n-pentane molecule.

Recently, a novel concept for the computation of essential features of Hamiltonian systems (such as those arising in molecular dynamics) has been proposed. The realization of that concept was based on subdivision techniques applied to the Frobenius--Perron operator for the dynamical system. The present paper suggests an alternative but related concept based on statistical mechanics, which allows to attack realistic molecular systems. In a first step, the frequency of conformational changes is characterized in statistical terms leading to the definition of some Markov operator $T$ that describes the corresponding transition probabilities within the canonical ensemble. In a second step, a discretization of $T$ via hybrid Monte Carlo techniques (based on short term subtrajectories only) is shown to lead to a stochastic matrix $P$. With these theoretical preparations, an identification algorithm for conformations is applicable (to be presented elsewhere). Numerical results for the n-pentane molecule are given and interpreted.

Uncoupling-coupling Monte Carlo (UCMC) combines uncoupling techniques for finite Markov chains with Markov chain Monte Carlo methodology. UCMC aims at avoiding the typical metastable or trapping behavior of Monte Carlo techniques. From the viewpoint of Monte Carlo, a slowly converging long-time Markov chain is replaced by a limited number of rapidly mixing short-time ones. Therefore, the state space of the chain has to be hierarchically decomposed into its metastable conformations. This is done by means of combining the technique of conformation analysis as recently introduced by the authors, and appropriate annealing strategies. We present a detailed examination of the uncoupling-coupling procedure which uncovers its theoretical background, and illustrates the hierarchical algorithmic approach. Furthermore, application of the UCMC algorithm to the $n$-pentane molecule allows us to discuss the effect of its crucial steps in a typical molecular scenario.

We study in experiment and theory thermal energy and charge transfer close to the quantum limit in a ballistic nanodevice, consisting of multiply connected one-dimensional electron waveguides. The fabricated device is based on an AlGaAs/GaAs heterostructure and is covered by a global top-gate to steer the thermal energy and charge transfer in the presence of a temperature gradient, which is established by a heating current. The estimate of the heat transfer by means of thermal noise measurements shows the device acting as a switch for charge and thermal energy transfer. The wave-packet simulations are based on the multi-terminal Landauer-Büttiker approach and confirm the experimental finding of a mode-dependent redistribution of the thermal energy current, if a scatterer breaks the device symmetry.

The Train Dispatching Problem (TDP) is to schedule trains through a network in a cost optimal way. Due to disturbances during operation existing track allocations often have to be re-scheduled and integrated into the timetable. This has to be done in seconds and with minimal timetable changes to guarantee smooth and conflict free operation.
We present an integrated modeling approach for the re-optimization task using Mixed Integer Programming. Finally, we provide computational results for scenarios provided by the INFORMS RAS Problem Soling Competition 2012.