TCB Publications - Abstract

Shashank Pant, Zachary Smith, Yihang Wang, Emad Tajkhorshid, and Pratyush Tiwary. Confronting pitfalls of AI-augmented molecular dynamics using statistical physics. Journal of Chemical Physics, 153, 2020.

PANT2020-ET Artificial intelligence (AI)-based approaches have had indubitable impact across the sciences through the ability to extract relevant information from raw data. Recently AI has also seen use for enhancing the efficiency of molecular simulations, wherein AI derived slow modes are used to accelerate the simulation in targeted ways. However, while typical fields where AI is used are characterized by a plethora of data, molecular simulations per-construction suffer from limited sampling and thus limited data. As such the use of AI in molecular simulations can suffer from a dangerous situation where the AI-optimization could get stuck in spurious regimes, leading to incorrect characterization of the reaction coordinate (RC) for the problem at hand. When such an incorrect RC is then used to perform additional simulations, one could start to deviate progressively from the ground truth. To deal with this problem of spurious AI-solutions, here we report a novel and automated algorithm using ideas from statistical mechanics. It is based on the notion that a more reliable AI-solution will be one that maximizes the time-scale separation between slow and fast processes. To learn this time-scale separation even from limited data, we use a maximum caliber- based framework. We show the applicability of this automatic protocol for 3 classic benchmark problems, namely the conformational dynamics of a model peptide, ligand-unbinding from a protein, and folding/unfolding energy landscape of the C-terminal domain of protein G. We believe our work will lead to increased and robust use of trustworthy AI in molecular simulations of complex systems.

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