Uncertainty-biased molecular dynamics for learning uniformly accurate interatomic potentials

Efficiently creating a concise but comprehensive data set for training machine-learned interatomic potentials (MLIPs) is an under-explored problem. Active learning (AL), which uses either biased or unbiased molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to generate candidate pools, aims to address this objective. Existing biased and unbiased MD simulations, however, are prone to miss either rare events or extrapolative regions -- areas of the configurational space where unreliable predictions are made. Simultaneously exploring both regions is necessary for developing uniformly accurate MLIPs. In this work, we demonstrate that MD simulations, when biased by the MLIP's energy uncertainty, effectively capture extrapolative regions and rare events without the need to know \textit{a priori} the system's transition temperatures and pressures. Exploiting automatic differentiation, we enhance bias-forces-driven MD simulations by introducing the concept of bias stress. We also employ calibrated ensemble-free uncertainties derived from sketched gradient features to yield MLIPs with similar or better accuracy than ensemble-based uncertainty methods at a lower computational cost. We use the proposed uncertainty-driven AL approach to develop MLIPs for two benchmark systems: alanine dipeptide and MIL-53(Al). Compared to MLIPs trained with conventional MD simulations, MLIPs trained with the proposed data-generation method more accurately represent the relevant configurational space for both atomic systems.

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