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  1. ParSplice, Version 1

    The ParSplice code implements the Parallel Trajectory Splicing algorithm described in [1]. This method is part of the Accelerated Molecular Dynamics family of techniques developed in Los Alamos National Laboratory over the last 16 years. These methods aim at generating high-quality trajectories of ensembles of atoms in materials. ParSplice uses multiple independent replicas of the system in order to parallelize the generation of such trajectories in the time domain, enabling simulations of systems of modest size over very long timescales. ParSplice includes capabilities to store configurations of the system, to generate and distribute tasks across a large number of processors,more » and to harvest the results of these tasks to generate long trajectories. ParSplice is a management layer that orchestrate large number of calculations, but it does not perform the actual molecular dynamics itself; this is done by external molecular dynamics engines. [1] Danny Perez, Ekin D Cubuk, Amos Waterland, Efthimios Kaxiras, Arthur F Voter, Long-time dynamics through parallel trajectory splicing, Journal of chemical theory and computation 12, 18 (2015)« less
  2. Speculation and replication in temperature accelerated dynamics

    Accelerated Molecular Dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based algorithms for the long-time scale simulation of atomistic systems that are characterized by rare-event transitions. Temperature-Accelerated Dynamics (TAD), a traditional AMD approach, hastens state-to-state transitions by performing MD at an elevated temperature. Recently, Speculatively-Parallel TAD (SpecTAD) was introduced, allowing the TAD procedure to exploit parallel computing systems by concurrently executing in a dynamically generated list of speculative future states. Although speculation can be very powerful, it is not always the most efficient use of parallel resources. In this paper, we compare the performance of speculative parallelism with a replica-based technique, similarmore » to the Parallel Replica Dynamics method. A hybrid SpecTAD approach is also presented, in which each speculation process is further accelerated by a local set of replicas. Finally and overall, this work motivates the use of hybrid parallelism whenever possible, as some combination of speculation and replication is typically most efficient.« less
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  3. Discovering mechanisms relevant for radiation damage evolution

    he response of a material to irradiation is a consequence of the kinetic evolution of defects produced during energetic damage events. Thus, accurate predictions of radiation damage evolution require knowing the atomic scale mechanisms associated with those defects. Atomistic simulations are a key tool in providing insight into the types of mechanisms possible. Further, by extending the time scale beyond what is achievable with conventional molecular dynamics, even greater insight can be obtained. Here, we provide examples in which such simulations have revealed new kinetic mechanisms that were not obvious before performing the simulations. We also demonstrate, through the couplingmore » with higher level models, how those mechanisms impact experimental observables in irradiated materials. Lastly, we discuss the importance of these types of simulations in the context of predicting material behavior.« less
  4. Evidence for percolation diffusion of cations and reordering in disordered pyrochlore from accelerated molecular dynamics

    Diffusion in complex oxides is critical to ionic transport, radiation damage evolution, sintering, and aging. In complex oxides such as pyrochlores, anionic diffusion is dramatically affected by cation disorder. However, little is known about how disorder influences cation transport. Here, we report results from classical and accelerated molecular dynamics simulations of vacancy-mediated cation diffusion in Gd 2Ti 2O 7 pyrochlore, on the microsecond timescale. We find that diffusion is slow at low levels of disorder, while higher disorder allows for fast diffusion, which is then accompanied by antisite annihilation and reordering, and thus a slowing of cation transport. Cation diffusivitymore » is therefore not constant, but decreases as the material reorders. We also show that fast cation diffusion is triggered by the formation of a percolation network of antisites. This is in contrast with observations from other complex oxides and disordered media models, suggesting a fundamentally different relation between disorder and mass transport.« less
  5. Accelerating ring-polymer molecular dynamics with parallel-replica dynamics

    Nuclear quantum effects are important for systems containing light elements, and the effects are more prominent in the low temperature regime where the dynamics also becomes sluggish. We show that parallel replica (ParRep) dynamics, an accelerated molecular dynamics approach for infrequent-event systems, can be effectively combined with ring-polymer molecular dynamics, a semiclassical trajectory approach that gives a good approximation to zero-point and tunneling effects in activated escape processes. The resulting RP-ParRep method is a powerful tool for reaching long time scales in complex infrequent-event systems where quantum dynamics are important. Two illustrative examples, symmetric Eckart barrier crossing and interstitial heliummore » diffusion in Fe and Fe–Cr alloy, are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and long-time scale capability of this approach.« less
  6. Growth rate effects on the formation of dislocation loops around deep helium bubbles in Tungsten

    Here, the growth process of spherical helium bubbles located 6 nm below a (100) surface is studied using molecular dynamics and parallel replica dynamics simulations, over growth rates from 10 6 to 10 12 helium atoms per second. Slower growth rates lead to a release of pressure and lower helium content as compared with fast growth cases. In addition, at slower growth rates, helium bubbles are not decorated by multiple dislocation loops, as these tend to merge or emit given sufficient time. At faster rates, dislocation loops nucleate faster than they can emit, leading to a more complicated dislocation structuremore » around the bubble.« less
  7. Towards an optimal flow: Density-of-states-informed replica-exchange simulations

    Here we learn that replica exchange (RE) is one of the most popular enhanced-sampling simulations technique in use today. Despite widespread successes, RE simulations can sometimes fail to converge in practical amounts of time, e.g., when sampling around phase transitions, or when a few hard-to-find configurations dominate the statistical averages. We introduce a generalized RE scheme, density-of-states-informed RE, that addresses some of these challenges. The key feature of our approach is to inform the simulation with readily available, but commonly unused, information on the density of states of the system as the RE simulation proceeds. This enables two improvements, namely,more » the introduction of resampling moves that actively move the system towards equilibrium and the continual adaptation of the optimal temperature set. As a consequence of these two innovations, we show that the configuration flow in temperature space is optimized and that the overall convergence of RE simulations can be dramatically accelerated.« less
  8. Accelerating the Convergence of Replica Exchange Simulations Using Gibbs Sampling and Adaptive Temperature Sets

    We recently introduced a novel replica-exchange scheme in which an individual replica can sample from states encountered by other replicas at any previous time by way of a global configuration database, enabling the fast propagation of relevant states through the whole ensemble of replicas. This mechanism depends on the knowledge of global thermodynamic functions which are measured during the simulation and not coupled to the heat bath temperatures driving the individual simulations. Therefore, this setup also allows for a continuous adaptation of the temperature set. In this paper, we will review the new scheme and demonstrate its capability. Furthermore, themore » method is particularly useful for the fast and reliable estimation of the microcanonical temperature T(U) or, equivalently, of the density of states g(U) over a wide range of energies.« less
  9. Introduction to Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

    Molecular Dynamics is the numerical solution of the equations of motion of a set of atoms, given an interatomic potential V and some boundary and initial conditions. Molecular Dynamics is the largest scale model that gives unbiased dynamics [x(t),p(t)] in full atomistic detail. Molecular Dynamics: is simple; is 'exact' for classical dynamics (with respect to a given V); can be used to compute any (atomistic) thermodynamical or dynamical properties; naturally handles complexity -- the system does the right thing at the right time. The physics derives only from the interatomic potential.
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