An extension of the CEPA1 method to the multi-reference case is presented, the MR-CEPA1 approach. The method takes the variationally included terms into account as in MRDCEPA and corrects for the exclusion principle violating terms as in closed shell CEPA1. It is shown that this method yields potential energy curves that are close to those of the multi-reference coupled cluster method and parallel the full CI results quite well. The size consistency of the method is as good as the MRDCEPA method and much beter than approaches that ignore the VI terms like MR-ACPF and MR-AQCC. A simpler method, where the EPV terms are not corrected on an individual basis for the doubly occupied orbitals, dubbed the multi-reference averages CEPA1 method (MR-ACEPA), which is akin to methods previously suggested by Szalay et al., is comparable in performance
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