Simulations of condensed matter systems often focus on the dynamics of a few distinguished components but require integrating the full system. A prime example is a molecular dynamics simulation of a (macro)molecule in a solution, where the molecule(s) and the solvent dynamics need to be integrated, rendering the simulations computationally costly and often unfeasible for physically/biologically relevant time scales. Standard coarse graining approaches can reproduce equilibrium distributions and structural features but do not properly include the dynamics. In this work, we develop a general data-driven coarse-graining methodology inspired by the Mori-Zwanzig formalism, which shows that macroscopic systems with a large number of degrees of freedom can be described by a few relevant variables and additional noise and memory terms. Our coarse-graining method consists of numerical integrators for the distinguished components, where the noise and interaction terms with other system components are substituted by a random variable sampled from a data-driven model. The model is parameterized using data from multiple short-time full-system simulations, and then, it is used to run long-time simulations. Applying our methodology to three systems—a distinguished particle under a harmonic and a bistable potential and a dimer with two metastable configurations—the resulting coarse-grained models are capable of reproducing not only the equilibrium distributions but also the dynamic behavior due to temporal correlations and memory effects. Remarkably, our method even reproduces the transition dynamics between metastable states, which is challenging to capture correctly. Our approach is not constrained to specific dynamics and can be extended to systems beyond Langevin dynamics, and, in principle, even to non-equilibrium dynamics.
Journal of Chemical Physics
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

del Razo, M., Crommelin, D., & Bolhuis, P. (2024). Data-driven dynamical coarse-graining for condensed matter systems. Journal of Chemical Physics, 160(2). doi:10.1063/5.0177553