With the development of low order scaling methods for performing Kohn–Sham density functional theory, it is now possible to perform fully quantum mechanical calculations of systems containing tens of thousands of atoms. However, with an increase in the size of the system treated comes an increase in complexity, making it challenging to analyze such large systems and determine the cause of emergent properties. To address this issue, in this paper, we present a systematic complexity reduction methodology which can break down large systems into their constituent fragments and quantify interfragment interactions. The methodology proposed here requires no a priori information or user interaction, allowing a single workflow to be automatically applied to any system of interest. We apply this approach to a variety of different systems and show how it allows for the derivation of new system descriptors, the design of QM/MM partitioning schemes, and the novel application of graph metrics to molecules and materials.


Complexity Reduction in Density Functional Theory Calculations of Large Systems: System Partitioning and Fragment Embedding

William Dawson, Stephan Mohr, Laura E. Ratcliff, Takahito Nakajima, and Luigi Genovese

Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 2020 16 (5), 2952-2964

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.9b01152