# A new class of accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithms

## Abstract

Kinetic (aka dynamic) Monte Carlo (KMC) is a powerful method for numerical simulations of time dependent evolution applied in a wide range of contexts including biology, chemistry, physics, nuclear sciences, financial engineering, etc. Generally, in a KMC the time evolution takes place one event at a time, where the sequence of events and the time intervals between them are selected (or sampled) using random numbers. While details of the method implementation vary depending on the model and context, there exist certain common issues that limit KMC applicability in almost all applications. Among such is the notorious 'flicker problem' where the same states of the systems are repeatedly visited but otherwise no essential evolution is observed. In its simplest form the flicker problem arises when two states are connected to each other by transitions whose rates far exceed the rates of all other transitions out of the same two states. In such cases, the model will endlessly hop between the two states otherwise producing no meaningful evolution. In most situation of practical interest, the trapping cluster includes more than two states making the flicker somewhat more difficult to detect and to deal with. Several methods have been proposed to overcome ormore »

- Authors:

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE

- OSTI Identifier:
- 1033740

- Report Number(s):
- LLNL-TR-517795

TRN: US201203%%219

- DOE Contract Number:
- W-7405-ENG-48

- Resource Type:
- Technical Report

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 97 MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND COMPUTING; ACCURACY; ALGORITHMS; ALLOYS; BIOLOGY; CHEMISTRY; DIFFUSION; DISTRIBUTION; IMPLEMENTATION; KINETICS; NUMERICAL SOLUTION; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; PHYSICS; PROBABILITY; SIMULATION; SUBSTRATES; TRANSIENTS; TRAPPING

### Citation Formats

```
Bulatov, V V, Oppelstrup, T, and Athenes, M.
```*A new class of accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithms*. United States: N. p., 2011.
Web. doi:10.2172/1033740.

```
Bulatov, V V, Oppelstrup, T, & Athenes, M.
```*A new class of accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithms*. United States. doi:10.2172/1033740.

```
Bulatov, V V, Oppelstrup, T, and Athenes, M. Wed .
"A new class of accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithms". United States. doi:10.2172/1033740. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1033740.
```

```
@article{osti_1033740,
```

title = {A new class of accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithms},

author = {Bulatov, V V and Oppelstrup, T and Athenes, M},

abstractNote = {Kinetic (aka dynamic) Monte Carlo (KMC) is a powerful method for numerical simulations of time dependent evolution applied in a wide range of contexts including biology, chemistry, physics, nuclear sciences, financial engineering, etc. Generally, in a KMC the time evolution takes place one event at a time, where the sequence of events and the time intervals between them are selected (or sampled) using random numbers. While details of the method implementation vary depending on the model and context, there exist certain common issues that limit KMC applicability in almost all applications. Among such is the notorious 'flicker problem' where the same states of the systems are repeatedly visited but otherwise no essential evolution is observed. In its simplest form the flicker problem arises when two states are connected to each other by transitions whose rates far exceed the rates of all other transitions out of the same two states. In such cases, the model will endlessly hop between the two states otherwise producing no meaningful evolution. In most situation of practical interest, the trapping cluster includes more than two states making the flicker somewhat more difficult to detect and to deal with. Several methods have been proposed to overcome or mitigate the flicker problem, exactly [1-3] or approximately [4,5]. Of the exact methods, the one proposed by Novotny [1] is perhaps most relevant to our research. Novotny formulates the problem of escaping from a trapping cluster as a Markov system with absorbing states. Given an initial state inside the cluster, it is in principle possible to solve the Master Equation for the time dependent probabilities to find the walker in a given state (transient or absorbing) of the cluster at any time in the future. Novotny then proceeds to demonstrate implementation of his general method to trapping clusters containing the initial state plus one or two transient states and all of their absorbing states. Similar methods have been subsequently proposed in [refs] but applied in a different context. The most serious deficiency of the earlier methods is that size of the trapping cluster size is fixed and often too small to bring substantial simulation speedup. Furthermore, the overhead associated with solving for the probability distribution on the trapping cluster sometimes makes such simulations less efficient than the standard KMC. Here we report on a general and exact accelerated kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm generally applicable to arbitrary Markov models1. Two different implementations are attempted both based on incremental expansion of trapping sub-set of Markov states: (1) numerical solution of the Master Equation with absorbing states and (2) incremental graph reduction followed by randomization. Of the two implementations, the 2nd one performs better allowing, for the first time, to overcome trapping basins spanning several million Markov states. The new method is used for simulations of anomalous diffusion on a 2D substrate and of the kinetics of diffusive 1st order phase transformations in binary alloys. Depending on temperature and (alloy) super-saturation conditions, speedups of 3 to 7 orders of magnitude are demonstrated, with no compromise of simulation accuracy.},

doi = {10.2172/1033740},

journal = {},

number = ,

volume = ,

place = {United States},

year = {2011},

month = {11}

}