Performance evaluation of the zero-multipole summation method in modern molecular dynamics software

S Sakuraba and I Fukuda, JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL CHEMISTRY, 39, 1551-1560 (2018).

DOI: 10.1002/jcc.25228

The zero-multiple summation method (ZMM) is a cutoff-based method for calculating electrostatic interactions in molecular dynamics simulations, utilizing an electrostatic neutralization principle as a physical basis. Since the accuracies of the ZMM have been revealed to be sufficient in previous studies, it is highly desirable to clarify its practical performance. In this paper, the performance of the ZMM is compared with that of the smooth particle mesh Ewald method (SPME), where the both methods are implemented in molecular dynamics software package GROMACS. Extensive performance comparisons against a highly optimized, parameter-tuned SPME implementation are performed for various-sized water systems and two protein-water systems. We analyze in detail the dependence of the performance on the potential parameters and the number of CPU cores. Even though the ZMM uses a larger cutoff distance than the SPME does, the performance of the ZMM is comparable to or better than that of the SPME. This is because the ZMM does not require a time-consuming electrostatic convolution and because the ZMM gains short neighbor-list distances due to the smooth damping feature of the pairwise potential function near the cutoff length. We found, in particular, that the ZMM with quadrupole or octupole cancellation and no damping factor is an excellent candidate for the fast calculation of electrostatic interactions. (c) 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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