Large-scale benchmarks of the time-warp/graph-theoretical kinetic Monte Carlo approach for distributed on-lattice simulations of catalytic kinetics†
Motivated by the need to perform large-scale kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations, in the context of unravelling complex phenomena such as catalyst reconstruction and pattern formation, we extend the work of Ravipati et al. [S. Ravipati, G. D. Savva, I.-A. Christidi, R. Guichard, J. Nielsen, R. Réocreux and M. Stamatakis, Comput. Phys. Commun., 2022, 270, 108148] in benchmarking the performance of a distributed-computing, on-lattice KMC approach. The latter, implemented in our software package Zacros, combines the graph-theoretical KMC framework with the Time-Warp algorithm for parallel discrete event simulations, and entails dividing the lattice into subdomains, each assigned to a processor. The cornerstone of the Time-Warp algorithm is the state queue, to which snapshots of the simulation state are saved regularly, enabling historical KMC information to be corrected when conflicts occur at subdomain boundaries. Focusing on three model systems, we highlight the key Time-Warp parameters that can be tuned to optimise performance. The frequency of state saving, controlled by the state saving interval, δsnap, is shown to have the largest effect on performance, which favours balancing the overhead of re-simulating KMC history with that of writing state snapshots to memory. Also important is the global virtual time (GVT) computation interval, ΔτGVT, which has little direct effect on the progress of the simulation but controls how often the state queue memory can be freed up. We also find that pre-allocating memory for the state queue data structure favours performance. These findings will guide users in maximising the efficiency of Zacros or other distributed KMC software, which is a vital step towards realising accurate, meso-scale simulations of heterogeneous catalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Computational Modelling as a Tool in Catalytic Science