skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Understanding the many-body expansion for large systems. I. Precision considerations

Electronic structure methods based on low-order “n-body” expansions are an increasingly popular means to defeat the highly nonlinear scaling of ab initio quantum chemistry calculations, taking advantage of the inherently distributable nature of the numerous subsystem calculations. Here, we examine how the finite precision of these subsystem calculations manifests in applications to large systems, in this case, a sequence of water clusters ranging in size up to (H{sub 2}O){sub 47}. Using two different computer implementations of the n-body expansion, one fully integrated into a quantum chemistry program and the other written as a separate driver routine for the same program, we examine the reproducibility of total binding energies as a function of cluster size. The combinatorial nature of the n-body expansion amplifies subtle differences between the two implementations, especially for n ⩾ 4, leading to total energies that differ by as much as several kcal/mol between two implementations of what is ostensibly the same method. This behavior can be understood based on a propagation-of-errors analysis applied to a closed-form expression for the n-body expansion, which is derived here for the first time. Discrepancies between the two implementations arise primarily from the Coulomb self-energy correction that is required when electrostatic embeddingmore » charges are implemented by means of an external driver program. For reliable results in large systems, our analysis suggests that script- or driver-based implementations should read binary output files from an electronic structure program, in full double precision, or better yet be fully integrated in a way that avoids the need to compute the aforementioned self-energy. Moreover, four-body and higher-order expansions may be too sensitive to numerical thresholds to be of practical use in large systems.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22308744
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ACCURACY; BINDING ENERGY; CORRECTIONS; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; ERRORS; EXPANSION; SELF-ENERGY; WATER