Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

The Ranked-Orbital Approach to Selecting Active Spaces



The past decade has seen a great increase in the application of high-throughput computation to a variety of important problems in chemistry. However, one area which has been resistant to the high-throughput approach is multireference wave function methods, in large part due to the technicalities of setting up these calculations and in particular the not always intuitive challenge of active space selection. As we look towards a future of applying high-throughput computation to all areas of chemistry, it is important to prepare these methods for large-scale automation. Here, we propose a ranked-orbital approach to selecting active spaces with the goal of standardizing multireference methods for high-throughput computation. This method allows for the meaningful comparison of different active space selection schemes and orbital localizations, and we demonstrate the utility of this approach across 1120 multireference calculations for the excitation energies of small molecules. Additionally, we propose our own active space selection scheme that estimates the importance of an orbital for the active space through a pair-interaction framework from orbital energies and features of the Hartree-Fock exchange matrix. We call this new scheme the "Approximate Pair Coefficient" (APC) method and it performs quite well for the test systems presented


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Supplementary material

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Supporting Information