2020 journal article

Eigenvector continuation as an efficient and accurate emulator for uncertainty quantification

Physics Letters B, 810, 135814.

Source: ORCID
Added: October 2, 2020

First principles calculations of atomic nuclei based on microscopic nuclear forces derived from chiral effective field theory (EFT) have blossomed in the past years. A key element of such ab initio studies is the understanding and quantification of systematic and statistical errors arising from the omission of higher-order terms in the chiral expansion as well as the model calibration. While there has been significant progress in analyzing theoretical uncertainties for nucleon-nucleon scattering observables, the generalization to multi-nucleon systems has not been feasible yet due to the high computational cost of evaluating observables for a large set of low-energy couplings. In this Letter we show that a new method called eigenvector continuation (EC) can be used for constructing an efficient and accurate emulator for nuclear many-body observables, thereby enabling uncertainty quantification in multi-nucleon systems. We demonstrate the power of EC emulation with a proof-of-principle calculation that lays out all correlations between bulk ground-state observables in the few-nucleon sector. On the basis of ab initio calculations for the ground-state energy and radius in 4He, we demonstrate that EC is more accurate and efficient compared to established methods like Gaussian processes.