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Person# Michael John Willatt

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Machine learning (ML) is an umbrella term for solving problems for which development of algorithms by human programmers would be cost-prohibitive, and instead the problems are solved by helping machin

An atom is a particle that consists of a nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of electrons. The atom is the basic particle of the chemical elements, and the chemical elements are di

In computing, signed number representations are required to encode negative numbers in binary number systems.
In mathematics, negative numbers in any base are represented by prefixing them with a m

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Michele Ceriotti, Sergey Pozdnyakov, Michael John Willatt

The "quasi-constant " smooth overlap of atomic position and atom-centered symmetry function fingerprint manifolds recently discovered by Parsaeifard and Goedecker [J. Chem. Phys. 156, 034302 (2022)] are closely related to the degenerate pairs of configurations, which are known shortcomings of all low-body-order atom-density correlation representations of molecular structures. Configurations that are rigorously singular-which we demonstrate can only occur in finite, discrete sets and not as a continuous manifold-determine the complete failure of machine-learning models built on this class of descriptors. The "quasi-constant " manifolds, on the other hand, exhibit low but non-zero sensitivity to atomic displacements. As a consequence, for any such manifold, it is possible to optimize model parameters and the training set to mitigate their impact on learning even though this is often impractical and it is preferable to use descriptors that avoid both exact singularities and the associated numerical instability.

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Symmetry considerations are at the core of the major frameworks used to provide an effective mathematical representation of atomic configurations that is then used in machine-learning models to predict the properties associated with each structure. In most cases, the models rely on a description of atom-centered environments and are suitable to learn atomic properties or global observables that can be decomposed into atomic contributions. Many quantities that are relevant for quantum mechanical calculations, however-most notably the single-particle Hamiltonian matrix when written in an atomic orbital basis-are not associated with a single center, but with two (or more) atoms in the structure. We discuss a family of structural descriptors that generalize the very successful atom-centered density correlation features to the N-center case and show, in particular, how this construction can be applied to efficiently learn the matrix elements of the (effective) single-particle Hamiltonian written in an atom-centered orbital basis. These N-center features are fully equivariant-not only in terms of translations and rotations but also in terms of permutations of the indices associated with the atoms-and are suitable to construct symmetry-adapted machine-learning models of new classes of properties of molecules and materials.

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Physically motivated and mathematically robust atom-centered representations of molecular structures are key to the success of modern atomistic machine learning. They lie at the foundation of a wide range of methods to predict the properties of both materials and molecules and to explore and visualize their chemical structures and compositions. Recently, it has become clear that many of the most effective representations share a fundamental formal connection. They can all be expressed as a discretization of n-body correlation functions of the local atom density, suggesting the opportunity of standardizing and, more importantly, optimizing their evaluation. We present an implementation, named librascal, whose modular design lends itself both to developing refinements to the density-based formalism and to rapid prototyping for new developments of rotationally equivariant atomistic representations. As an example, we discuss smooth overlap of atomic position (SOAP) features, perhaps the most widely used member of this family of representations, to show how the expansion of the local density can be optimized for any choice of radial basis sets. We discuss the representation in the context of a kernel ridge regression model, commonly used with SOAP features, and analyze how the computational effort scales for each of the individual steps of the calculation. By applying data reduction techniques in feature space, we show how to reduce the total computational cost by a factor of up to 4 without affecting the model’s symmetry properties and without significantly impacting its accuracy.

2021