Interpolating Moving Least-squares Methods for Fitting Potential Energy Surfaces: A Strategy for Efficient Automatic Data Point Placement in High Dimensions


An accurate and efficient method for automated molecular global potential energy surface (PES) construction and fitting is demonstrated. An interpolating moving least-squares (IMLS) method is developed with the flexibility to fit various ab initio data: (1) energies, (2) energies and gradients, or (3) energies, gradients, and Hessian data. The method is automated and flexible so that a PES can be optimally generated for trajectories, spectroscopy, or other applications. High efficiency is achieved by employing local IMLS in which fitting coefficients are stored at a limited number of expansion points, thus eliminating the need to perform weighted least-squares fits each time the potential is evaluated. An automatic point selection scheme based on the difference in two successive orders of IMLS fits is used to determine where new ab initio data need to be calculated for the most efficient fitting of the PES. A simple scan of the coordinate is shown to work well to identify these maxima in one dimension, but this search strategy scales poorly with dimension. We demonstrate the efficacy of using conjugate gradient minimizations on the difference surface to locate optimal data point placement in high dimensions. Results that are indicative of the accuracy, efficiency, and scalability are presented for a one-dimensional model potential (Morse) as well as for three-dimensional (HCN), six-dimensional (HOOH), and nine-dimensional (CH4) molecular PESs.



Keywords and Phrases

Interpolation; Least squares approximations; Spectroscopic analysis; Hessian data; Interpolating moving least-squares (IMLS) method; Potential energy surfaces

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Article - Journal

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© 2008 American Institute of Physics (AIP), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2008