Auto-associative neural networks ("autoencoders") present a powerful nonlinear dimensionality reduction technique to mine data-driven collective variables from molecular simulation trajectories. This technique furnishes explicit and differentiable expressions for the nonlinear collective variables, making it ideally suited for integration with enhanced sampling techniques for accelerated exploration of configurational space. In this work, we describe a number of sophistications of the neural network architectures to improve and generalize the process of interleaved collective variable discovery and enhanced sampling. We employ circular network nodes to accommodate periodicities in the collective variables, hierarchical network architectures to rank-order the collective variables, and generalized encoder-decoder architectures to support bespoke error functions for network training to incorporate prior knowledge. We demonstrate our approach in blind collective variable discovery and enhanced sampling of the configurational free energy landscapes of alanine dipeptide and Trp-cage using an open-source plugin developed for the OpenMM molecular simulation package.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry