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Journal Article

Free Energies from Dynamic Weighted Histogram Analysis Using Unbiased Markov State Model


Hummer,  Gerhard       
Department of Theoretical Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Rosta, E., & Hummer, G. (2015). Free Energies from Dynamic Weighted Histogram Analysis Using Unbiased Markov State Model. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 11(1), 276-285. doi:10.1021/ct500719p.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-481C-0
The weighted histogram analysis method (WHAM) is widely used to obtain accurate free energies from biased molecular simulations. However, WHAM free energies can exhibit significant errors if some of the biasing windows are not fully equilibrated. To account for the lack of full equilibration, we develop the dynamic histogram analysis method (DHAM). DHAM uses a global Markov state model to obtain the free energy along the reaction coordinate. A maximum likelihood estimate of the Markov transition matrix is constructed by joint unbiasing of the transition counts from multiple umbrella-sampling simulations along discretized reaction coordinates. The free energy profile is the stationary distribution of the resulting Markov matrix. For this matrix, we derive an explicit approximation that does not require the usual iterative solution of WHAM. We apply DHAM to model systems, a chemical reaction in water treated using quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) simulations, and the Na+ ion passage through the membrane-embedded ion channel GLIC. We find that DHAM gives accurate free energies even in cases where WHAM fails. In addition, DHAM provides kinetic information, which we here use to assess the extent of convergence in each of the simulation windows. DHAM may also prove useful in the construction of Markov state models from biased simulations in phase-space regions with otherwise low population.