%% Rational approximation of the Fermi-Dirac function
% Nick Trefethen, July 2019
%%
% (Chebfun example approx/FermiDirac.m)
% [Tags: #Fermi-Dirac, #minimax]
function FermiDirac
%%
% The Fermi-Dirac function is important in electronic energy calculations,
% for which physicists have had great success with rational approximations [1].
% We won't attempt to discuss the physics or the algorithms here, but just consider some
% rational approximations, motivated in particular by [2].
%%
% The function is smooth, but approximates a step (which corresponds to
% the limit of zero temperature). With $L$ as a large parameter,
% we can write the function like this:
% $$ f(E) = {1 \over 1 + \exp(x-L) }, \quad x\in [0,\infty). $$
% Here for example is a plot with $L= 20$:
tic
L = 20;
f = @(x) 1./(1+exp(x-L));
fplot(f,[0,80]), grid on, ylim([-1 2])
title('physical domain')
%%
% This is essentially a hyperbolic tangent, but with a twist:
% the approximation domain we care about extends a finite distance
% on one side and an infinite distance on the other. (Ultimately this
% is because a system has a minimum-energy state but no maximum.) For a type
% $(n,n)$ approximant, it is convenient to soften up the problem
% by a Möbius transformation to $s\in [-1,1]$, which maps type $(n,n)$
% rational functions to themselves. The transformation is this:
x = @(s) (s*L+L)./(1-s);
s = @(x) (x-L)./(x+L);
%%
% Here for example is the transplanted function above:
g = @(s) f(x(s));
dom = [-1 1];
fplot(g,dom), grid on, ylim([-1 2])
title('transplantation to [-1,1]')
%%
% Note that despite appearances, this
% is not symmetric about $s=0$.
% For example, $g(.1)$ and $1-g(-.1)$ are quite different:
disp([g(.1) 1-g(-.1)])
%%
% To approximate $g$ by a rational function of type
% $(n,n)$, we can use the Chebfun |minimax| command.
% (Another possibility is |cf|, at least for smaller values of $L$.)
% Here is a little code that does this.
function fermi(L,n) % minimax approx for Fermi-Dirac. Try e.g. fermi(50,10).
f = @(x) 1./(1+exp(x-L));
x = @(s) (s*L+L)./(1-s);
s = @(x) (x-L)./(x+L);
g = @(s) f(x(s));
[p,q,r,err,status] = minimax(g,n,n);
poles = status.pol;
ss = [chebpts(1000,[-1 0]); chebpts(1000,[0 1])];
subplot(2,2,1:2)
plot(ss,r(ss)-g(ss)), grid on, ylim(2*err*[-1 1]), hold on
plot([-1 1],-err*[1 1],'--r'), plot([-1 1],err*[1 1],'--r'), hold off
title(sprintf('Fermi-Dirac transplanted to [-1,1], L = %d, n = %d',L,n));
subplot(2,2,3), plot(poles,'.r')
axis equal, axis([-20 20 -10 10]), grid on, title poles
subplot(2,2,4), plot(poles,'.r')
axis equal, axis([-1 1 -.5 .5]), grid on, title closeup
end
%%
% Here is an easy example with $L=10$.
tic, fermi(10,10), toc
%%
% Here is a harder one with $L=100$:
tic, fermi(100,15), toc
%%
% The code even works with $L=1000$:
tic, fermi(1000,20), toc
%%
% Here's the same function approximated
% with a higher value of $n$:
tic, fermi(1000,30), toc
%%
% This all looks pretty satisfactory, but it would probably not
% be hard to break this code. An idea for improving the
% speed and robustness would be to adapt the idea of Moussa [2] and
% start the |minimax| barycentric Remez iteration with an initial
% guess derived from a Zolotarev approximation of a step.
%%
%
% [1] L. Lin, M. Chen, C. Yang, and L. He,
% Accelerating atomic orbital-based
% electronic structure calculation via pole
% expansion and selected inversion,
% _Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter_ 25 (2013), 295501.
%
% [2] J. E. Moussa, Minimax rational approximation of
% the Fermi-Dirac distribution, _Journal of
% Chemical Physics_ 145 (2016), 164108
% and arXiv:1605.03085v2, 2016.
end