Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In The Journal of chemical physics

Predicting the functional properties of many molecular systems relies on understanding how atomistic interactions give rise to macroscale observables. However, current attempts to develop predictive models for the structural and thermodynamic properties of condensed-phase systems often rely on extensive parameter fitting to empirically selected functional forms whose effectiveness is limited to a narrow range of physical conditions. In this article, we illustrate how these traditional fitting paradigms can be superseded using machine learning. Specifically, we use the results of molecular dynamics simulations to train machine learning protocols that are able to produce the radial distribution function, pressure, and internal energy of a Lennard-Jones fluid with increased accuracy in comparison to previous theoretical methods. The radial distribution function is determined using a variant of the segmented linear regression with the multivariate function decomposition approach developed by Craven et al. [J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 11, 4372 (2020)]. The pressure and internal energy are determined using expressions containing the learned radial distribution function and also a kernel ridge regression process that is trained directly on thermodynamic properties measured in simulation. The presented results suggest that the structural and thermodynamic properties of fluids may be determined more accurately through machine learning than through human-guided functional forms.

Craven Galen T, Lubbers Nicholas, Barros Kipton, Tretiak Sergei