GPU-accelerated replica exchange molecular simulation on solid-liquid phase transition study of Lennard-Jones fluids

K Nomura and M Oikawa and A Kawai and T Narumi and K Yasuoka, MOLECULAR SIMULATION, 41, 874-880 (2015).

DOI: 10.1080/08927022.2014.954572

Determining the solid-liquid phase transition point by conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations is difficult because of the tendency of the system to get trapped in local minimum energy states at low temperatures and hysteresis during cooling and heating cycles. The replica exchange method, used in performing many MD simulations of the system at different temperature conditions simultaneously and performs exchanges of these temperatures at certain intervals, has been introduced as a tool to overcome this local-minimum problem. However, around the phase transition temperature, a greater number of different temperatures are required to adequately find the phase transition point. In addition, the number of different temperature values increases when treating larger systems resulting in huge computation times. We propose a computational acceleration of the replica exchange MD simulation on graphics processing units (GPUs) in studying first-order solid-liquid phase transitions of Lennard-Jones (LJ) fluids. The phase transition temperature for a 108-atom LJ fluid has been calculated to validate our new code. The result corresponds with that of a previous study using multicanonical ensemble. The computational speed is measured for various GPU-cluster sizes. A peak performance of 196.3GFlops with one GPU and 8.13TFlops with 64GPUs is achieved.

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