Probing Accuracy-Speedup Tradeoff in Machine Learning Surrogates for Molecular Dynamics Simulations

FB Sun and JCS Kadupitiya and V Jadhao, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION, 19, 4606-4618 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.2c01282

The performance promise of machine learning surrogates of molecular dynamics simulations of soft materials is significant but generally comes at the cost of acquiring large training datasets to learn the complex relationships between input soft material attributes and output properties. Under the constraint of limited high-performance computing resources, optimizing the size of the training datasets becomes paramount. Using an artificial neural network based surrogate for molecular dynamics simulations of confined electrolytes, we explore the tradeoff between surrogate accuracy and computational gains. Accuracy is assessed by computing the root-mean-square errors between the surrogate predictions and the ground truth results obtained via molecular dynamics simulations. The computational performance is judged by evaluating the speedup which incorporates the training dataset creation time. Improvement in accuracy occurs with a loss of speedup, which scales as the inverse of the training dataset size. The link between surrogate generalizability and the accuracy-speedup tradeoff is assessed by examining the errors incurred in surrogate predictions on unseen, interpolated input variables and developing a net speedup metric to capture the associated gains.

Return to Publications page