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Stochastic Thermodynamics of Multiple Co-Evolving Systems—Beyond Multipartite Processes

Many dynamical systems consist of multiple, co-evolving subsystems (i.e., they have multiple degrees of freedom). Often, the dynamics of one or more of these subsystems will not directly depend on the state of some other subsystems, resulting in a network of dependencies governing the dynamics.

How does this dependency network affect the full system’s thermodynamics? Prior studies on the stochastic thermodynamics of multipartite processes have addressed this question by assuming that, in addition to the constraints of the dependency network, only one subsystem is allowed to change state at a time. However, in many real systems, such as chemical reaction networks or electronic circuits, multiple subsystems can—or must—change state together.

Here, we investigate the thermodynamics of such composite processes, in which multiple subsystems are allowed to change state simultaneously.

We first present new, strictly positive lower bounds on entropy production in composite processes.

We then present thermodynamic uncertainty relations for information flows in composite processes. We end with strengthened speed limits for composite processes.

F. Tasnim, D.H. Wolpert, Stochastic Thermodynamics of Multiple Co-Evolving Systems—Beyond Multipartite Processes, Entropy 25(7) (2023) 1078.

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