Beyond MD17: The xxMD Dataset as a Chemically Meaningful Benchmark for Neural Force Fields Development

Published: 28 Oct 2023, Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023NeurIPS2023-AI4Science PosterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: AI4Science, Machine learning force fields, Datasets, Molecular dynamics, physical chemistry
TL;DR: 8 pages main text, attached with 10 pages appendix
Abstract: Neural force fields (NFFs) have gained prominence in computational chemistry as surrogate models, superseding quantum-chemistry calculations in ab initio molecular dynamics. The prevalent benchmark for NFFs has been the MD17 dataset and its subsequent extension. These datasets predominantly comprise geometries from the equilibrium region of the ground electronic state potential energy surface, sampling from direct adiabatic dynamics. However, many chemical reactions entail significant molecular deformations, notably bond breaking. We demonstrate the constrained distribution of internal coordinates and energies in the MD17 datasets, underscoring their inadequacy for representing systems undergoing chemical reactions. Addressing this sampling limitation, we introduce the xxMD (Extended Excited-state Molecular Dynamics) dataset, derived from non-adiabatic dynamics. This dataset encompasses energies and forces ascertained from both multireference wave function theory and density functional theory. Furthermore, its nuclear configuration spaces authentically depict chemical reactions, making xxMD a more chemically relevant dataset. Our re-assessment of equivariant models on the xxMD datasets reveals notably higher mean absolute errors than those reported for MD17 and its variants. This observation underscores the challenges faced in crafting a generalizable NFF model with extrapolation capability.
Submission Track: Original Research
Submission Number: 4