Journal of Physics A. Mathematical and General vol:32 issue:29 pages:5389-5407
We study time-inhomogeneous stochastic dynamical systems with vanishing noise. Conditions implying strong ergodicity are proposed; the asymptotic probability distribution is characterized and we estimate the speed of relaxation. Applying these results to simulated annealing enables us to introduce systems that converge faster than a classical annealing dynamics determined by a Gibbs factor.