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J Chem Phys. 2017 Oct 28;147(16):164103. doi: 10.1063/1.4998926.

Acceleration and sensitivity analysis of lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulations using parallel processing and rate constant rescaling.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.


Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulation provides insights into catalytic reactions unobtainable with either experiments or mean-field microkinetic models. Sensitivity analysis of KMC models assesses the robustness of the predictions to parametric perturbations and identifies rate determining steps in a chemical reaction network. Stiffness in the chemical reaction network, a ubiquitous feature, demands lengthy run times for KMC models and renders efficient sensitivity analysis based on the likelihood ratio method unusable. We address the challenge of efficiently conducting KMC simulations and performing accurate sensitivity analysis in systems with unknown time scales by employing two acceleration techniques: rate constant rescaling and parallel processing. We develop statistical criteria that ensure sufficient sampling of non-equilibrium steady state conditions. Our approach provides the twofold benefit of accelerating the simulation itself and enabling likelihood ratio sensitivity analysis, which provides further speedup relative to finite difference sensitivity analysis. As a result, the likelihood ratio method can be applied to real chemistry. We apply our methodology to the water-gas shift reaction on Pt(111).


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