The random-cluster model has been widely studied as a unifying framework for random graphs, spin systems and electrical networks, but its dynamics have so far largely resisted analysis. In this talk we present recent results concerning the mixing behavior of natural Markov chains for the random-cluster model in two canonical cases: the mean-field model and the two dimensional lattice graph Z^2. In the mean-field case, we identify a critical regime of the model parameter p in which several natural dynamics undergo an exponential slowdown. In Z^2, we provide tight mixing time bounds for the heat-bath dynamics for all non-critical values of p. These results hold for all values of the second model parameter q > 1.
Based on joint works with Alistair Sinclair.