Coarse-graining entropy, forces, and structures

Joseph F. Rudzinski, W. G. Noid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Coarse-grained (CG) models enable highly efficient simulations of complex processes that cannot be effectively studied with more detailed models. CG models are often parameterized using either force- or structure-motivated approaches. The present work investigates parallels between these seemingly divergent approaches by examining the relative entropy and multiscale coarse-graining (MS-CG) methods. We demonstrate that both approaches can be expressed in terms of an information function that discriminates between the ensembles generated by atomistic and CG models. While it is well known that the relative entropy approach minimizes the average of this information function, the present work demonstrates that the MS-CG method minimizes the average of its gradient squared. We generalize previous results by establishing conditions for the uniqueness of structure-based potentials and identify similarities with corresponding conditions for the uniqueness of MS-CG potentials. We analyze the mapping entropy and extend the MS-CG and generalized-Yvon-Born-Green formalisms for more complex potentials. Finally, we present numerical calculations that highlight similarities and differences between structure- and force-based approaches. We demonstrate that both methods obtain identical results, not only for a complete basis set, but also for an incomplete harmonic basis set in Cartesian coordinates. However, the two methods differ when the incomplete basis set includes higher order polynomials of Cartesian coordinates or is expressed as functions of curvilinear coordinates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - Dec 7 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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