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Automated parameterization of intermolecular pair potentials using global optimization techniques

: Krämer, Andreas; Hülsmann, Marco; Köddermann, Thorsten; Reith, Dirk


Computer physics communications 185 (2014), Nr.12, S.3228-3239
ISSN: 0010-4655
Fraunhofer SCAI ()

In this work, different global optimization techniques are assessed for the automated development of molecular force fields, as used in molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations. The quest of finding suitable force field parameters is treated as a mathematical minimization problem. Intricate problem characteristics such as extremely costly and even abortive simulations, noisy simulation results, and especially multiple local minima naturally lead to the use of sophisticated global optimization algorithms. Five diverse algorithms (pure random search, recursive random search, CMA-ES, differential evolution, and taboo search) are compared to our own tailor-made solution named CoSMoS. CoSMoS is an automated workflow. It models the parameters' influence on the simulation observables to detect a globally optimal set of parameters. It is shown how and why this approach is superior to other algorithms. Applied to suitable test functions and simulations for phosgene, CoSMoS effectively reduces the number of required simulations and real time for the optimization task.