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In the present paper we identify a rigorous property of a number of tempering-based Monte Carlo sampling methods, including parallel tempering as well as partial and infinite swapping. Based on this property we develop a variety of performance measures for such rare-event sampling methods that are broadly applicable, informative, and straightforward to implement. We illustrate the use of these performance measures with a series of applications involving the equilibrium properties of simple Lennard-Jones clusters, applications for which the performance levels of partial and infinite swapping approaches are found to be higher than those of conventional parallel tempering.

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© 2012 American Institute of Physics.



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