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MCCCS Towhee (Algorithms: Configurational-bias Monte Carlo)

 

 

Overview
    This section gives a basic overview of the Configurational-bias Monte Carlo (CBMC) algorithm that is implemented into Towhee and it was last updated for Towhee version 6.1.1. CBMC algorithm development remains a major research activity, and a particular favorite of the lead Towhee developer, and the goal of this essay is to explain all of the algorithmic details that often get overlooked in the many publications describing CBMC algorithm development over the course of the last two decades. It is my hope that by presenting a detailed explanation of the many aspects of the CBMC algorithm here, the next generation of algorithm developers will be well positioned to increase the power of this method even further.
The general CBMC algorithm
    The goal of Monte Carlo Molecular simulation is to generate a sequence of states that occur with a sampling probability proportional to the configuration integral.

    Equation 1
    Equation 1

    Where β = 1/(kbT), kb is Boltzmann's constant, T is the temperature in Kelvins, and r is a very general vector consisting of the position of every atom in the simulation, and rmax is the maximum distance in each dimension for that general vector (this is the box lengths in the x, y, and z dimensions for each atom in a rectilinear box). U(r) is the total potential energy of the system and is a function of the position of every atom. Note that the integration over all positions is just as important as the Boltzmann weighting factor even though it is merely implicit in Equation 1. The most common and dangerously difficult to discover errors made when designing a new Monte Carlo move come from subtle errors in the implicit uniform sampling, not in the fairly explicit Boltzmann weighting term.

    In a classical simulation U(r) is typically broken down into several components that distinguish between interactions with other atoms on the same molecule (bonded, bending angles, dihedral angles, improper torsion, and intramolecular nonbonded terms) and interactions with other molecules (intermolecular nonbonded terms).

    Equation 2
    Equation 2

    This allows the calculation of the total energy as a series of sums where each term in the energy considers a subset of the total number of atoms. There is a set of pairs designated as bonded, a set of triplets for the bending angle, and sets of quartets for dihedral torsions, and improper torsions. The nonbonded terms are almost always the most expensive to compute as they are at least a pair-wise summation over all atoms in the simulation, and often have some multibody component in their calculation (for example, the long range portion of the Ewald sum for Coulombic interactions).

    Keeping this breakdown of the potential energy in mind, the goal of a CBMC algorithm is to build a molecule piece by piece in a way that properly, and efficiently, samples the intramolecular and intermolecular energies. The general configurational-bias Monte Carlo algorithm procedure generates a molecule in a series of growth steps, where each growth step attempts to find reasonable positions for a small set of atoms, and then those positions are used in the subesquent growth steps. There are many different formulations of the CBMC algorithm in the literature and they differ in how they decide which atoms to grow in a given growth step, the general procedures used to generate and accept trial positions in each growth step, and in the many small details of the number of each kind of trial.

    The historical development of the CBMC algorithm began with linear chains on lattice (Siepmann 1990) and was then generalized by many workers for linear chains in continuous space (Siepmann and Frenkel 1992, Frenkel et al. 1992, Laso et al. 1992, and Siepmann and McDonald 1992). Those algorithms were also used on simple branched molecules until Vlugt et al. 1999 revealed a flaw in the trial generation procedure originally used for angles (the Boltzmann rejection technique) for any molecule contains at least one atom that is bonded to three or more other atoms. One of the methods developed to resolve this problem was the coupled-decoupled CBMC algorithm of Martin and Siepmann 1999, which was later generalize to also work with flexible bond lengths and class 2 force fields (Martin and Thompson 2004). An earlier effort designed to simply reduce the computational cost of the CBMC algorithm (Vlugt et al. 1998) laid the algorithmic foundation for the additional biasing potentials required for reasonable acceptance rates for cyclic molecules, originally for cyclic molecules with rigid bond lengths (Wick and Siepmann 2000), and later generalized for fully flexible cyclic molecules (Martin and Thompson 2004, Martin and Frischknecht 2006).

    Let us now start with our most general set of equations for performing CBMC moves, and then later return to the previous versions to understand how those formations fit within our current understanding of the algorithm. The first item of business during each CBMC growth step is the generation of trial positions. This is done using an arbitrary probability distribution.

    Equation 3
    Equation 3

    Where the function f can depend upon the positions of the atoms already grown, any external fields in the simulation box, and anything else that is known at the time we are generating trial positions for the atom ri. Martin and Frischknecht 2006 stated that this function must be positive and integrate to 1 over the appropriate range of ri. That is a sufficient definition for this function, but it turns out not to be necessary for this function to be nonzero for over the full range in certain cases. The arbitrary probability density is allowed to be zero for any value of ri where the product of the ideal probability density and the Boltzmann weight is zero. This case occurs quite often when rigid bond lengths, bending angles, or dihedral angles are employed. After generating several trials for the position of atom i, we then select on of these positions for further growth using Equation 4.

    Equation 4
    Equation 4

    Where the selection is a function of the potential energy of the trial position [u(ri)], the ideal probability distribution, and the Rosenbluth weight (Wk). The ideal probability distribution is the distribution that would be obtained in an ideal system where the potential energy is zero for all values of ri. The biasing function, wbias(ri,rexist), must be nonzero and depends upon the positions of the atoms that exist - either those already generated in previous growth steps, or those whose positions are not being sampled in this CBMC move. The Rosenbluth weight is computed from the sum of the trials as shown in Equation 5.

    Equation 5
    Equation 5

    This move then proceeds over a number of growth steps until the entire molecule has been created. The move is then accepted or rejected using the probability in Equation 6.

    Equation 6
    Equation 6

    Where rm,...,rz is the set of all atom positions generated during a CBMC move that consists of nstep growth steps (more than one atom can be grown during a single growth step). Note that the product of the additional biasing function only contains the biasing factors used on the atoms that were selected during the growth step. The new Rosenbluth weight is generated in the course of determining the new atom positions for the molecule, while the old Rosenbluth weight is generated in an identical manner as the new, with the exception that the actual old position of each atom appears once in the growth process and is always the trial selected for further growth. If you consider the product of the arbitrary trial distribution used to generate trial, the selection probability, and the final Rosenbluth weights you will find many of the terms cancel out and the remaining probability density is the one we were intending to sample.

    Equation 7
    Equation 7

    Two of the most powerful tricks in mathematics are to add 0 and to multiply by 1. When designing new CBMC algorithms we are merely multiplying by 1 in a useful manner. This allows us to add many different biasing terms into the growth process so long as we remove them again in the acceptance rules.
CBMC Trial Generation Form
    The most conceptually simple manner for generating trials is to uniformly sample the volume of a sphere of radius max_bond_length centered on an existing atom that is bonded to the trial atom. However, one could also break the trial generation down into component parts such as bond lengths, bending angles, dihedral angles, and nonbonded interations and then sample the degrees of freedom related to each of those interactions in a manner that either decouples the selections by first performing one selection (such as bond length) and then using that value in all later selections (such as bending angles) or couples the selections by generating several of the steps and selecting them based on their total interactions. Terms are coupled when the Rosenbluth weight of the first term appears in the acceptance probability of the second. This requires a full selection procedure of the first term for every trial of the second term. The concepts of coupled-decoupled CBMC were first discussed in Martin and Siepmann 1999, but these ideas very general and can be used to describe all of the currently developed CBMC algorithms. The differences in the CBMC algorithm formulations come in the details, and the following section attempts to some shed light on these details that are often only partially illuminated in the literature.
    • Martin and Siepmann JPCB 1999: uses the original coupled-decoupled formulation presented in the appendix of Martin and Siepmann 1999, with the extension for flexible bond lengths briefly mentioned in Martin and Thompson 2004. The steps consist of decoupled Bond length selection, decoupled bending A selection, decoupled bending B selection, and dihedral angle selection coupled to nonbonded selection. The algorithm is decoupled to the maximum extent possible (it is not possible to decoupled dihedral selection from nonbonded selection) as generating reasonable bond lengths, angles, and dihedral angles required a relatively large number of trial as this time as the use of arbitrary trial distributions for those terms had not yet come into fashion. There is some number of growth steps (nstep) and in each step some number of atoms are generated (ng), where all of these generated atoms are bonded to the same atom (f). The generated atoms are labelled ga, where the index a ranges from 1 to ng. The first step is to select all of the ga-f bond lengths in a decoupled manner.

      Equation MS.1
      Equation MS.1
      Equation MS.2
      Equation MS.2

      Where lga,f is the bond length between the generated atom (ga) and the "growing from" atom (f). For each generated atom, nch_vib trial bond lengths are considered and then one bond length is selected according to the probability in Equation MS.1. The trial distributions are discussed further in the Arbitrary Trial Distribution section. Once bond lengths are selected for all of the generated atoms (ga) the next step is the Part A portion of the decoupled bending angle selection.

      Equation MS.3
      Equation MS.3
      Equation MS.4
      Equation MS.4

      The angle θga,f,p is the angle formed by the atom being grown (ga), the atom being grown from (f), and an atom that is previous to the atom being grown from (p). There are two cases to consider when determining the "previous" atom. Case 1 occurs when there already exists an atom bonded to the from atom (f) that was either grown in an earlier step of this CBMC growth process, or was not scheduled for regrowth during this CBMC move. In this case the "p" atom is selected randomly from all possible atoms that exist bonded to the "f" atom. Case 2 occurs when there are no existing atoms bonded to the "f" atom. In this case one of the atoms grown during this step is selected at random to be treated as the "p" atom. Once all of the θga,f,p angles are determined, then the pseudo-dihedral angles between the atoms being grown are sampled.

      Equation MS.5
      Equation MS.5
      Equation MS.6
      Equation MS.6

      Where φgb,f,p,ga is the pseudo-dihedral angle between the planes formed by the ga-f-p and gb-f-p atom triplets. The sampling is performed based upon that pseudo-dihedral angle, and then some elementary geometery is used to convert the φgb,f,p,ga values into the θga,f,gb angles required to compute the bending angle energies. One might assume the next step would be selection of the dihedral angle, but once that is known it also implies the positions for the nonbonded selection step. A single trial of the nonbonded selection is computationally quite expensive compared to a single trial of the dihedral selection so a selection step for dihedral angles is coupled to the nonbonded selection.

      Equation MS.7
      Equation MS.7
      Equation MS.8
      Equation MS.8
      Equation MS.9
      Equation MS.9
      Equation MS.10
      Equation MS.10

      The above equations are realized by performing a full dihedral selection for each trial of the nonbonded selection. The dihedral angle selection obviously includes the dihedral energy for the angle being sampled, but also often includes bond, angle, improper and additional dihedral angles in the case where we are connecting back to some other atoms in the moleule. This occurs when closing a ring, or when performing interior conformation sampling moves in a molecule. The selection is performed on a single dihedral angle with one of the atoms grown this step (g1) with the from atom (f), previous atom (p) and a randomly selected atom bonded to p that is not atom f (q). That dihedral angle implies a large set of dihedral angles that involve the atom being grown and any existing atoms (c, d, or e) that form a dihedral angle that is now completely described by the addition of the atoms grown this step. It also could imply bond terms that do not involve the "from" atom, angle terms not centered on the "from" atom, and improper torsions not centered on the "from" atom. The nonbonded selection involves the Rosenbluth weight of the torsion selection and the sum of the nonbonded terms according to the partial nonbonded terms (unbpart). The partial nonbonded terms are often set to be shorter ranged than the total nonbonded terms as a time saving move first described as dual-cutoff in Vlugt et al. 1998. This also often occurs for charged systems as the long-ranged portion of the Ewald sum is only computed once the entire molecule has been grown, as it is both expensive and a bit ill-defined to compute during the growth process. The final acceptance probability for the move contains is a more detailed version of the general Equation 6. The correction for using a partial nonbonded potential is equivalent to removing the bias implied during the nonbonded selection. That implicit bias is related to the Boltzmann weighted difference between the true nonbonded potential and the partial nonbonded potential.

      Equation MS.11
      Equation MS.11
      Equation MS.12
      Equation MS.12

    • Coupled to pre-nonbond: uses the formulation first described in Martin and Frischknecht 2006, and was enabled by advances in arbitrary trial distribution functions. The bond length selection, bending angle A selection, bending angle B selection, and dihedral angle selection are all decoupled from each other, but coupled in turn to a new selection step that occurs immediately prior to the nonbonded selection. The idea is to better sample the joint distribution of bond lengths, bending angles, dihedral angles, and improper torsion to improve the acceptance rate in cases where these energies are not independent, and often in competition with each other. There is some number of growth steps (nstep) and in each step some number of atoms are generated (ng), where all of these generated atoms are bonded to the same atom (f). The generated atoms are labelled ga, where the index a ranges from 1 to ng. For each index of the pre-nonbond selection, the bond length, angles, and dihedrals are sequentially generated in a decoupled manner.

      Equation CPN.1
      Equation CPN.1
      Equation CPN.2
      Equation CPN.2

      Where lga,f is the bond length between the generated atom (ga) and the "growing from" atom (f). For each generated atom, nch_vib trial bond lengths are considered and then one bond length is selected according to the probability in Equation CPN.1. The trial distributions are discussed further in the Arbitrary Trial Distribution section. Once bond lengths are selected for all of the generated atoms (ga) the next step is the Part A portion of the decoupled bending angle selection.

      Equation CPN.3
      Equation CPN.3
      Equation CPN.4
      Equation CPN.4

      The angle θga,f,p is the angle formed by the atom being grown (ga), the atom being grown from (f), and an atom that is previous to the atom being grown from (p). There are two cases to consider when determining the "previous" atom. Case 1 occurs when there already exists an atom bonded to the from atom (f) that was either grown in an earlier step of this CBMC growth process, or was not scheduled for regrowth during this CBMC move. In this case the "p" atom is selected randomly from all possible atoms that exist bonded to the "f" atom. Case 2 occurs when there are no existing atoms bonded to the "f" atom. In this case one of the atoms grown during this step is selected at random to be treated as the "p" atom. Once all of the θga,f,p angles are determined, then the pseudo-dihedral angles between the atoms being grown are sampled.

      Equation CPN.5
      Equation CPN.5
      Equation CPN.6
      Equation CPN.6

      Where φgb,f,p,ga is the pseudo-dihedral angle between the planes formed by the ga-f-p and gb-f-p atom triplets. The sampling is performed based upon that pseudo-dihedral angle, and then some elementary geometery is used to convert the φgb,f,p,ga values into the θga,f,gb angles required to compute the bending angle energies. The next step is a decoupled selection for dihedral angles.

      Equation CPN.7
      Equation CPN.7
      Equation CPN.8
      Equation CPN.8
      Equation CPN.9
      Equation CPN.9

      The above equations are realized by performing a full dihedral selection for each trial of the nonbonded selection. The dihedral angle selection obviously includes the dihedral energy for the angle being sampled, but also often includes bond, angle, improper and additional dihedral angles in the case where we are connecting back to some other atoms in the moleule. This occurs when closing a ring, or when performing interior conformation sampling moves in a molecule. The selection is performed on a single dihedral angle with one of the atoms grown this step (g1) with the from atom (f), previous atom (p) and a randomly selected atom bonded to p that is not atom f (q). That dihedral angle implies a large set of dihedral angles that involve the atom being grown and any existing atoms (c, d, or e) that form a dihedral angle that is now completely described by the addition of the atoms grown this step. It also could imply bond terms that do not involve the "from" atom, angle terms not centered on the "from" atom, and improper torsions not centered on the "from" atom. The bond, bending angle, and dihedral selections are all coupled to the pre-nonbond selection. The pre-nonbond selection is in turn coupled to the nonbonded selection.

      Equation CPN.10
      Equation CPN.10
      Equation CPN.11
      Equation CPN.11
      Equation CPN.12
      Equation CPN.12
      Equation CPN.13
      Equation CPN.13

      The nonbonded selection involves the Rosenbluth weight of the pre-nonbond selection and the sum of the nonbonded terms according to the partial nonbonded terms (unbpart). The partial nonbonded terms are often set to be shorter ranged than the total nonbonded terms as a time saving move first described as dual-cutoff in Vlugt et al. 1998. This also often occurs for charged systems as the long-ranged portion of the Ewald sum is only computed once the entire molecule has been grown, as it is both expensive and a bit ill-defined to compute during the growth process. The final acceptance probability for the move contains is a more detailed version of the general Equation 6. The correction for using a partial nonbonded potential is equivalent to removing the bias implied during the nonbonded selection. That implicit bias is related to the Boltzmann weighted difference between the true nonbonded potential and the partial nonbonded potential.

      Equation CPN.14
      Equation CPN.14
      Equation CPN.15
      Equation CPN.15

Arbitrary Trial Distributions
    Arbitrary trial distributions were first used to bias the insertion of the first atom by Snurr, Bell, and Theodorou 1993. The first use of the method for bond lengths, bending angles, and dihedral angles occurred in Martin and Biddy 2005, and was later described in detail by Martin and Frischknecht 2006. We can best exploit the power of the CBMC algorithm by using arbitrary trial distributions that match Psample(r) (see Equation 1) as closely as possible. In most cases the distribution of Psample is not known before the simulation is performed, but the insight that the acceptance rate is maximized when the arbitrary trial distribution used to generate trials matches the observed distribution for that term, guides our choice of the optimal arbitrary trial distributions. The arbitrary trial distribution functions used must be nonnegative and properly normalized (integrate to 1) over the appropriate range. In addition, the arbitrary probability density must be strictly positive for any value where the product of the ideal probability density and the Boltzmann weight is nonzero. The following subsections describe the arbitrary trial distributions available in Towhee for various steps of the CBMC growth process

    Insertion of the first atom
      The insertion of the first atom in a CBMC insertion move is conceptually quite simple. The proper sampling for the first atom position is a uniform sampling over the entire box volume.

      Equation NB_ONE.1
      Equation NB_ONE.1

      The following arbitrary trial distributions for the first inserted atom trials are implemented into Towhee.
      • DIST_UNIFORM: generates trials using the uniform probability distribution. This is used when the nch_nb_one_generation option is set to 'uniform', or when computing an insertion into the ideal resiviour box (in the Grand Canonical ensemble).

        Equation NB_ONE.2
        Equation NB_ONE.2

      • DIST_ENERGY_BIAS: generates trials using a version of the Snurr et al. 1993 energy biasing to preferentially place the first atom in the cavities of a fixed geometric structure, such as a zeolite. This is used when the nch_nb_one_generation option is set to 'energy bias'

        Equation NB_ONE.3
        Equation NB_ONE.3

        Where the box volume is divided into subcells of volume Vcell. Trial positions are selected by first choosing a cell based upon the weighting factor Xcell, normalized by the total sum of all of the cell weights. Once a cell is selected, then a position is chosen uniformly within that cell.
    Generation of bond lengths
      Despite the apparent simplicity of bond lengths, this is the most confusing distribution to normalize properly. One might assume that the proper ideal distribution for all of the atoms in the molecule would be the same as the ideal probability distribution of the first atom, that is to say uniform sampling of the entire simulation box. However, all of the acceptance rules in Towhee come from statistical mechanics that allows molecules a single set of translational degrees of freedom (one in each dimension). This concept of a molecule requires that the atoms be in proximity to each other in a manner that maintains this single set of translational degrees of freedom. One way to enforce this concept to introduce a maximum bond length (max_bond_length or rmax). The value of the max_bond_length is not important so long as it is larger than the bond length values expected in the simulation. Starting from an existing atom, the proper sampling for atoms bonded to that atom is the volume of a sphere around the existing atom. For convenience, we transform the uniform sampling of the sphere from cartesian coordinates to spherical coordinates. This transformation allows the separate consideration of bond length, bending angle, and dihedral angle.

      The ideal distribution for bond lengths is proportional to the distance term in the spherical coordinates

      Equation BOND.1
      Equation BOND.1

      so the ideal distribution favors ever longer bond lengths without bound. However, the energetics of a bond potential at some point become extremely high, and therefore the Boltzmann weight goes to zero at long bond lengths cancelling out the ideal term that increases as r2. In Towhee, the bond energies are defined to be infinite beyond the max_bond_length distance, and this provides a bound to the sampling space that we can use to integrate the ideal bond length for use with potentials that allow a continous distribution of bond lengths.

      Equation BOND.2
      Equation BOND.2

      where rmax is set via max_bond_length. However, in the case of bond potentials with a finite number of allowed bond lengths the integral instead becomes a sum over those bond lengths that do not have an infinite energy.

      Equation BOND.3
      Equation BOND.3

      where the sum is over all of the bond lengths that do not have an infinite energy. For the most common case of a single allowable bond length, this ratio becomes 1.

      The following arbitrary trial distributions for the bond length trials are implemented into Towhee.
    Generation of bending angles
      There are two steps in the generation of bending angles in Towhee. The first step is denoted the "Bending A" selection and it generates bending angles for the angle formed by an atom being grown (ga), bonded to the atom they are growing from (f), relative to a reference atom that is also bonded to atom f (p). The second step is denoted the "Bending B" selection and it generates a pseudo-dihedral angle formed by two of the atoms being grown (ga, gb), the from atom (f) and the previous atom (p). The pseudo-dihedral angle is then used to compute the relevent bending angles using some elementary geometry.
      Generation of Bending A angles
        The "Bending A" ideal distribution contains a phase space term due to the conversion from cartesian to spherical coordinates. For continous distributions this is easily integrated to get the normalization constant of one half.

        Equation BEND_A.1
        Equation BEND_A.1

        For distributions that have a finite number of non-infinite energy angles (nfinite) the integrated form is replaced by a sum over those allowed angles.

        Equation BEND_A.2
        Equation BEND_A.2

        The following arbitrary trial distributions for the "Bending A" trials are implemented into Towhee.
        • DIST_DELTA: generates trials when there are a finite number of angles (nfinite) that have a nonzero Boltzmann weight. The most common occurance is a single, rigid bending angle, but this is also functional for multiple allowable rigid bending angles.

          Equation BEND_A.3
          Equation BEND_A.3

        • DIST_SINE: generates trials using the ideal Sine distribution. This is used for non-rigid bending angle potentials when the cbmc_bend_generation option is set to 'ideal'. Angles are generated on the interval (0, π).

          Equation BEND_A.4
          Equation BEND_A.4

        • DIST_GAUSSIAN: generates trials using the Gaussian distribution. This is used for non-rigid bending angle potentials when the cbmc_bend_generation option is set to 'global gaussian' or 'autofit gaussian'. When cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'global gaussian' then the mean (μ) set to the equilibrium bending angle, and the standard deviation (σ) is set to sdevbena. When cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'autofit gaussian' then the mean (μ) and standard deviation (σ) are fit to Sin(θ)exp(-β u(θ)) for every angle in each type of molecule in the simulation, and then the standard deviations are scaled by the bend_a_sdev_multiplier. Angles are generated on the interval (0, π).

          Equation BEND_A.5
          Equation BEND_A.5

        • DIST_SINE_GAUSSIAN: generates trials using a linear combination of the Sine distribution and the Gaussian distribution. This is used for non-rigid bending angle potentials when the cbmc_bend_generation option is set to 'ideal + autofit gaussian'. The mean (μ) and standard deviation (σ) are fit to Sin(θ)exp(-β u(θ)) for every angle in each type of molecule in the simulation, and then the standard deviations are scaled by the bend_a_sdev_multiplier. The fraction of ideal moves (fideal) is set to bend_a_ideal_fraction. Angles are generated on the interval (0, π).

          Equation BEND_A.6
          Equation BEND_A.6

        • DIST_BOUNDED_SINE: generates trials using a Sine distribution bounded above (by θhigh) and below (by θlow). This is used automatically in combination with the Infinite Square Well Angle potential and the bounding angles are determined for each generation based upon the 1-3 distance range allowed by the potential, and the current bond lengths. Angles are generated on the interval (θlow, θhigh).

          Equation BEND_A.7
          Equation BEND_A.7

      Generation of Bending B angles
        The "Bending B" pseudo-dihedral angle is the rotation required to bring the positive portion of the ga-f-p plane coincident with the positive portion of the gb-f-p plane. The ideal distribution for continuous potentials is uniform sampling on the interval (-π, π).

        Equation BEND_B.1
        Equation BEND_B.1

        The distribution for angles with a finite number of non-infinite energy terms (nfinite) is the discrete version of the uniform distribution

        Equation BEND_B.2
        Equation BEND_B.2

        The following arbitrary trial distributions for the "Bending B" trials are implemented into Towhee.
        • DIST_DELTA: generates trials when the pseudo-dihedral angle implies any angles that have a potential with a finite number of angles (nfinite) that have a nonzero Boltzmann weight (i.e. a rigid angle). There are usually 2 viable values of the pseudo-dihedral angle for each viable implied regular angle (a positive and negative rotation).

          Equation BEND_B.3
          Equation BEND_B.3

        • DIST_UNIFORM: generates trials for non-rigid angles when there are no energy terms to consider for this step, when the cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'ideal', or when the cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'global gaussian' and a hybridization match is not found for the "from" atom (f).

          Equation BEND_B.4
          Equation BEND_B.4

        • DIST_GAUSSIAN: generates trials for non-rigid angles when the cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'global gaussian' and a hybridization match is found for the "from" atom (f), or when the cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'autofit gaussian'. The (-π, π) interval is broken into some number of subregions (nsub) and each of these subregions is described by a Gaussian distribution. Each subregion (i) is equally likely (uniform on the number of subregions) and is described by an upper limit (hi(φ)), a lower limit (lo(φ)), a mean (μ(φ)) and a standard deviation (σ(φ)).

          Equation BEND_B.5
          Equation BEND_B.5

        • DIST_UNIFORM_GAUSSIAN: generates trials using a linear combination of the uniform and Gaussian distributions for non-rigid angles when the cbmc_bend_generation is set to 'ideal + autofit gaussian'. The uniform (ideal) distribution is used with a probability equation to the bend_b_ideal_fraction (fideal). Otherwise the (-π, π) interval is broken into some number of subregions (nsub) and each of these subregions is described by a Gaussian distribution. In that case, each subregion (i) is equally likely (uniform on the number of subregions) and is described by an upper limit (hi(φ)), a lower limit (lo(φ)), a mean (μ(φ)) and a standard deviation (σ(φ)).

          Equation BEND_B.6
          Equation BEND_B.6

    Generation of Dihedral Angles
      There are often several dihedral angles across any pair of central atoms. When performing a CBMC move a single dihedral angle is selected from the available candidates and that dihedral is used as the frame of reference for both the angle and the biasing. The dihedral angle consists of a sequence of atoms consisting of one of the being grown (ga), the "from" atom (f), the "prev" atom (p), and another atom that is bonded to "p", but is not "f". The ideal sampling for the dihedral angle is a uniform distribution on the interval (-π, π).

      Equation DIHED.1
      Equation DIHED.1

      The following arbitrary trial distributions for the dihedral angle trials are implemented into Towhee.
      • DIST_DELTA: generates trials when the primary dihedral angle is rigid (or multi-rigid), or when it implies a term that is rigid. In either case, there are a finite number of dihedral angles (nfinite) that have a nonzero Boltzmann weight for the sum of the energies involved.

        Equation DIHED.2
        Equation DIHED.2

      • DIST_UNIFORM: generates trials for non-rigid angles when there are no dihedral energy terms, when the cbmc_dihedral_generation is set to 'ideal', or when the cbmc_dihedral_generation is set to 'global gaussian' and a hybridization match is not found for the "from" and "prev" atom pair (f-p).

        Equation DIHED.3
        Equation DIHED.3

      • DIST_GAUSSIAN: generates trials for non-rigid angles when the cbmc_dihedral_generation is set to 'global gaussian' and a hybridization match is found for the "from" and "prev" atom pair (f-p), or when the cbmc_dihedral_generation is set to 'autofit gaussian'. The (-π, π) interval is broken into some number of subregions (nsub) and each of these subregions is described by a Gaussian distribution. Each subregion (i) is equally likely (uniform on the number of subregions) and is described by an upper limit (hi(φ)), a lower limit (lo(φ)), a mean (μ(φ)) and a standard deviation (σ(φ)).

        Equation DIHED.4
        Equation DIHED.4

      • DIST_UNIFORM_GAUSSIAN: generates trials using a linear combination of the uniform and Gaussian distributions for non-rigid dihedral angles when the cbmc_dihedral_generation is set to 'ideal + autofit gaussian'. The uniform (ideal) distribution is used with a probability equation to the dihedral_ideal_fraction (fideal). Otherwise the (-π, π) interval is broken into some number of subregions (nsub) and each of these subregions is described by a Gaussian distribution. In that case, each subregion (i) is equally likely (uniform on the number of subregions) and is described by an upper limit (hi(φ)), a lower limit (lo(φ)), a mean (μ(φ)) and a standard deviation (σ(φ)).

        Equation DIHED.5
        Equation DIHED.5

Historical context and Testing of various CBMC formulations
    Original Efforts
      CBMC was developed on lattice by Siepmann 1990 as a method for sampling chain molecules in a simple model of a monolayer. A variety of researchers (Siepmann and Frenkel 1992, Frenkel et al. 1992, Laso et al. 1992, and Siepmann and McDonald 1992) brought the method to continuous space in 1992. Those versions of the CBMC algorithm worked well for the linear chain molecules studied in the mid-1990s and were combined with the Gibbs ensemble to compute some of the first vapor-liquid coexistence curves for chain molecules (such as united-atom n-alkanes). The basic concept is that molecules are grown atom by atom into a dense fluid in such a way that the local space for each new atom is sampled and the lower energy positions are more likely to be chosen to continue the growth of the molecule. This accumulates a bias that is then removed in the acceptance rule. The net effect is a large increase in the acceptance rate for insertions of polyatomic molecules into liquids. The molecules studied as that time had very simple intramolecular interactions (vibrations, bending angles, dihedrals etc.) and the generation of those terms was handled with a Boltzmann rejection scheme.
    Coupled-Decoupled CBMC 'Martin and Siepmann 1999' formulation
      Work on branched alkane adsorption in silicalite by Vlugt et al. 1999 revealed a flaw in the Boltzmann rejection technique if a molecule contains any atom that is bonded to three or more other atoms. In addition, this method became very slow for molecules with atoms bonded to 4 or more other atoms. One of the methods developed to resolve this problem was the coupled-decoupled CBMC algorithm of Martin and Siepmann 1999. The intramolecular terms were now generated using a biasing procedure with appropriate corrections in the acceptance rule. Bond lengths were still rigid in that paper, although the algorithm was later generalized to include decoupled flexible bond lengths and class 2 force field term in Martin and Thompson 2004. The flexible bond angles were decoupled from the torsions, which were coupled to the nonbonded terms. What this means, is the bond angles are selected based solely on the bond angle energies and bond angle phase space terms and then those angles are used in all subsequent selections (torsion and nonbond). Thus, the bond angle selection is decoupled from the other selections. In contrast, for each nonbond trial a full selection is performed to generate torsional angles so these two selections are coupled.
    Arbitrary Trial Distribution CBMC
      Traditionally, the trials for things like bond lengths, bending angles, and torsional angles were generated according to an "ideal" distribution. The "ideal" distribution is the one that occurs when there is no contribution from the potential energy terms. These trials are then accepted or rejected based upon factors related to the potential energy terms. While this split into "entropic" and "energetic" terms is convenient, it is not necessarily the best way to handle the trial generation. Martin and Biddy 2005 used a new method where the bond lengths and bending angles were generated according to a Gaussian distribution and then corrected for this bias in the acceptance rules. This change reduced the expense of the CBMC move as fewer trials were required in order to generate viable candidates for bond lengths, bending angles, and dihedral angles.
    Coupled-Decoupled CBMC 'Coupled to pre-nonbond' formulation
      The details of this CBMC algorith, along with a substantial review of previous CBMC algorithms, is published in Martin and Frischknecht 2006. This builds upon the arbitrary trial distribution method, as that made it possible to achieve high acceptance rates using only a single trial for things like bond lengths and bending angles, instead of the normal 100 to 1000 required when using the ideal trial distribution method. The main original purpose of the coupled-decoupled algorithm was to reduce the computational cost of the move by decoupling terms that are relatively stiff and occur early in the growth step, like vibrations and bending angles. When using the proper arbitrary trial distribution, these steps are considerably less expensive and that enabled strategies whose primary aim is to improve the acceptance rate for challenging molecular geometries (such as strongly branched and cyclic molecules). The 'Coupled to pre-nonbond' formulation implemented into Towhee adds a new selection process in between the dihedral selection and the nonbond selection (a pre-nonbond selection). Bond lengths, bending angles, and dihedral angles are all decoupled from each other, but coupled to the pre-nonbond selection. When combined with additional fixed-endpoint biasing functions this allowed for adequate acceptance rates for small, cyclic molecules.
    Dual-cutoff CBMC
      In 1998 Vlugt et al. 1998 developed a cost-saving version of the CBMC algorithm. Instead of using the full nonbonded cutoff during the CBMC move, a shorter range cutoff is used and this makes the computation less expensive in dense systems. The full potential is then computed for the final structure and the energy difference between the true potential, and the one used to generate the growth trial, is incorporated into the acceptance rule to remove this bias. In Towhee this algorithm is implemented using the rcutin variable for the inner cutoff used during the growth and rcut for the cutoff used to computed the "true" energy of the system. Proper setting of rcutin can decrease the simulation time by a factor of two. Note that the chemical potential computed using dual-cutoff CBMC has not been proven to be correct, and empirical evidence suggests that it is not correct in certain cases.
    Fixed Endpoint CBMC
      Cyclic molecules are substantially more difficult to grow using CBMC because their conformational space is severely limited by the constraints of having cyclic portions of the molecule. Attempting to grow a cyclic molecule using standard CBMC methods, and just hoping it closes itself up properly, has an acceptance rate that is nearly zero. It is generally believed that an additional biasing is required during the growth procedure in order to nudge the growth into positions that will result in reasonable ring closures. There are a variety of biasing procedures in the literature. One that is notable, but not currently implemented into Towhee, is the self-adapting fixed-endpoint (SAFE) CBMC algorithm of Wick and Siepmann 2000. The problem with SAFE-CBMC is it can use a large amount of memory in order to keep track of all of the adapting fixed-endpoint biasing functions. The version implemented into Towhee uses some analytical biasing functions based upon a crude, but consistent, transformation of the distance between growth atoms and target ring atoms, into a bias function based loosely upon dihedral, bending, and vibrational energies. Considerable research is still needed in this area to determine optimal biasing strategies. The algorithm implemented into Towhee was first used, but not satisfactorily described, in Martin and Thompson 2004. A more detailed description of the biasing functions was later published in Martin and Frischknecht 2006.
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Last updated: December 17, 2014