A comparison of neighbor search algorithms for large rigid molecules

Svetlana Artemova 1 Sergei Grudinin 1 Stephane Redon 1
1 NANO-D - Algorithms for Modeling and Simulation of Nanosystems
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, INPG - Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble
Abstract : Fast determination of neighboring atoms is an essential step in molecular dynamics simulations or Monte Carlo computations, and there exists a variety of algorithms to efficiently compute neighbor lists. However, most of these algorithms are general, and not specifically designed for a given type of application. As a result, although their average performance is satisfactory, they might be inappropriate in some specific application domains. In this article, we study the case of detecting neighbors between large rigid molecules, which has applications in, e.g., rigid body molecular docking, Monte Carlo simulations of molecular self-assembly or diffusion, and rigid body molecular dynamics simulations. More precisely, we compare the traditional grid-based algorithm to a series of hierarchy-based algorithms that use bounding volumes to rapidly eliminate large groups of irrelevant pairs of atoms during the neighbor search. We compare the performance of these algorithms based on several parameters: the size of the molecules, the average distance between them, the cutoff distance, as well as the type of bounding volume used in the culling hierarchy (AABB, OBB, wrapped, or layered spheres). We demonstrate that for relatively large systems (> 100,000 atoms) the algorithm based on the hierarchy of wrapped spheres shows the best results and the traditional grid-based algorithm gives the worst timings. For small systems, however, the grid-based algorithm and the one based on the wrapped sphere hierarchy are beneficial.
Type de document :
Article dans une revue
Journal of Computational Chemistry, Wiley, 2011, 32 (13), pp.2865-2877. <10.1002/jcc.21868>
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Contributeur : Nano-D Equipe <>
Soumis le : samedi 3 novembre 2012 - 21:12:36
Dernière modification le : jeudi 14 mai 2015 - 01:01:10

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Svetlana Artemova, Sergei Grudinin, Stephane Redon. A comparison of neighbor search algorithms for large rigid molecules. Journal of Computational Chemistry, Wiley, 2011, 32 (13), pp.2865-2877. <10.1002/jcc.21868>. <hal-00748053>

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