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This work addresses the problem of determining the number of components from sequential spectroscopic data analyzed by non-negative matrix factorization without separability assumption (SepFree NMF). These data are stored in a matrix M of dimension “measured times” versus “measured wavenumbers” and can be decomposed to obtain the spectral fingerprints of the states and their evolution over time. SepFree NMF assumes a memoryless (Markovian) process to underline the dynamics and decomposes M so that M=WH, with W representing the components’ fingerprints and H their kinetics. However, the rank of this decomposition (i.e., the number of physical states in the process) has to be guessed from pre-existing knowledge on the observed process. We propose a measure for determining the number of components with the computation of the minimal memory effect resulting from the decomposition; by quantifying how much the obtained factorization is deviating from the Markovian property, we are able to score factorizations of a different number of components. In this way, we estimate the number of different entities which contribute to the observed system, and we can extract kinetic information without knowing the characteristic spectra of the single components. This manuscript provides the mathematical background as well as an analysis of computer generated and experimental sequentially measured Raman spectra.

In this paper, we present a new, optimization-based method to exhibit cyclic behavior in non-reversible stochastic processes. While our method is general, it is strongly motivated by discrete simulations of ordinary differential equations representing non-reversible biological processes, in particular molecular simulations. Here, the discrete time steps of the simulation are often very small compared to the time scale of interest, i.e., of the whole process. In this setting, the detection of a global cyclic behavior of the process becomes difficult because transitions between individual states may appear almost reversible on the small time scale of the simulation. We address this difficulty using a mixed-integer programming model that allows us to compute a cycle of clusters with maximum net flow, i.e., large forward and small backward probability. For a synthetic genetic regulatory network consisting of a ring-oscillator with three genes, we show that this approach can detect the most productive overall cycle, outperforming classical spectral analysis methods. Our method applies to general non-equilibrium steady state systems such as catalytic reactions, for which the objective value computes the effectiveness of the catalyst.

In this article a method to improve the precision of the classical molecular dynamics force field by solving an approximation problem with scattered quantum mechanical data is presented. This novel technique is based on two steps. In the first step a partition of unity scheme is used for partitioning the state space by meshfree basis functions. As a consequence the potential can be localized for each basis function. In a second step, for one state in each meshfree basis function, the precise QM-based charges are computed. These local QM-based charges are then used, to optimize the local potential function. The performance of this method is shown for the alanine tripeptide.

The aim of this paper is to investigate the rebinding effect, a phenomenon describing a "short-time memory" which can occur when projecting a Markov process onto a smaller state space. For guaranteeing a correct mapping by the Markov State Model, we assume a fuzzy clustering in terms of membership functions, assigning degrees of membership to each state. The macro states are represented by the membership functions and may be overlapping. The magnitude of this overlap is a measure for the strength of the rebinding effect, caused by the projection and stabilizing the system. A minimal bound for the rebinding effect included in a given system is computed as the solution of an optimization problem. Based on membership functions chosen as a linear combination of Schur vectors, this generalized approach includes reversible as well as non-reversible processes.

Spectral clustering methods are based on solving eigenvalue problems for the identification of clusters, e.g., the identification of metastable subsets of a Markov chain. Usually, real-valued eigenvectors are mandatory for this type of algorithms. The Perron Cluster Analysis (PCCA+) is a well-known spectral clustering method of Markov chains. It is applicable for reversible Markov chains, because reversibility implies a real-valued spectrum. We extend this spectral clustering method also to non-reversible Markov chains and give some illustrative examples. The main idea is to replace the eigenvalue problem by a real-valued Schur decomposition. By this extension, non-reversible Markov chains can be analyzed. Furthermore, the chains need not have a positive stationary distribution. And additionally to metastabilities, dominant cycles and sinks can be identified, too.

Markov state models are to date the gold standard for modeling molecular kinetics since they enable the identification and analysis of metastable states and related kinetics in a very instructive manner. The state-of-the-art Markov state modeling methods and tools are very well developed for the modeling of reversible processes in closed equilibrium systems. On the contrary, they are largely not well suited to deal with nonreversible or even nonautonomous processes of nonequilibrium systems. Thus, we generalized the common Robust Perron Cluster Cluster Analysis (PCCA+) method to enable straightforward modeling of nonequilibrium systems as well. The resulting Generalized PCCA (G-PCCA) method readily handles equilibrium as well as nonequilibrium data by utilizing real Schur vectors instead of eigenvectors. This is implemented in the G-PCCA algorithm that enables the semiautomatic coarse graining of molecular kinetics. G-PCCA is not limited to the detection of metastable states but also enables the identification and modeling of cyclic processes. This is demonstrated by three typical examples of nonreversible systems.

Obtaining a sufficient sampling of conformational space is a common problem in molecular simulation. We present the implementation of an umbrella-like adaptive sampling approach based on function-based meshless discretization of conformational space that is compatible with state of the art molecular dynamics code and that integrates an eigenvector-based clustering approach for conformational analysis and the computation of inter-conformational transition rates. The approach is applied to three example systems, namely n-pentane, alanine dipeptide, and a small synthetic host-guest system, the latter two including explicitly modeled solvent.