Evaluating the Accuracy of Hessian Approximations for Direct Dynamics Simulations


Direct dynamics simulations are a very useful and general approach for studying the atomistic properties of complex chemical systems, since an electronic structure theory representation of a system's potential energy surface is possible without the need for fitting an analytic potential energy function. In this paper, recently introduced compact finite difference (CFD) schemes for approximating the Hessian [J. Chem. Phys.2010, 133, 074101] are tested by employing the monodromy matrix equations of motion. Several systems, including carbon dioxide and benzene, are simulated, using both analytic potential energy surfaces and on-the-fly direct dynamics. The results show, depending on the molecular system, that electronic structure theory Hessian direct dynamics can be accelerated up to 2 orders of magnitude. The CFD approximation is found to be robust enough to deal with chaotic motion, concomitant with floppy and stiff mode dynamics, Fermi resonances, and other kinds of molecular couplings. Finally, the CFD approximations allow parametrical tuning of different CFD parameters to attain the best possible accuracy for different molecular systems. Thus, a direct dynamics simulation requiring the Hessian at every integration step may be replaced with an approximate Hessian updating by tuning the appropriate accuracy.

Document Type





algorithms, hessians, determinants, approximation, direct dynamics

Publication Date


Recommended Citation

Zhuang, Yu, Matthew R. Siebert, William L. Hase, Kenneth G. Kay, and Michele Ceotto. "Evaluating the accuracy of Hessian approximations for direct dynamics simulations." Journal of chemical theory and computation 9, no. 1 (2013): 54-64.

Journal Title

Journal of chemical theory and computation