Vendi Sampling For Molecular Simulations: Diversity As A Force For Faster Convergence And Better Exploration

04 July 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Molecular dynamics (MD) is the method of choice for understanding the structure, function, and interactions of molecules. However, MD simulations are limited by the strong metastability of many molecules, which traps them in a single conformation basin for an extended amount of time. Enhanced sampling techniques, such as metadynamics and replica exchange, have been developed to overcome this limitation and accelerate the exploration of complex free energy landscapes. In this paper, we propose Vendi Sampling, a replica-based algorithm for increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the exploration of molecular conformation spaces. In Vendi sampling, replicas are simulated in parallel and coupled via a global statistical measure, the Vendi Score, to enhance diversity. Vendi sampling allows for the recovery of unbiased sampling statistics and dramatically improves sampling efficiency. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Vendi sampling in improving molecular dynamics simulations by showing significant improvements in coverage and mixing between metastable states and convergence of free energy estimates for four common benchmarks, including Alanine Dipeptide and Chignolin.


molecular simulations
enhanced sampling
Markov chain Monte Carlo
Vendi score


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