Compressed Sensing for Chemistry

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Compressed Sensing for Chemistry

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Title: Compressed Sensing for Chemistry
Author: Sanders, Jacob N. ORCID  0000-0002-2196-4234
Citation: Sanders, Jacob N. 2016. Compressed Sensing for Chemistry. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: Many chemical applications, from spectroscopy to quantum chemistry, involve measuring or computing a large amount of data, and then compressing this data to retain the most chemically-relevant information. In contrast, compressed sensing is an emergent technique that makes it possible to measure or compute an amount of data that is roughly proportional to its information content. In particular, compressed sensing enables the recovery of a sparse quantity of information from significantly undersampled data by solving an l1-optimization problem. This thesis represents the application of compressed sensing to problems in chemistry.

The first half of this thesis is about spectroscopy. Compressed sensing is used to accelerate the computation of vibrational and electronic spectra from real-time time-dependent density functional theory simulations. Using compressed sensing as a drop-in replacement for the discrete Fourier transform, well-resolved frequency spectra are obtained at one-fifth the typical simulation time and computational cost. The technique is generalized to multiple dimensions and applied to two-dimensional absorption spectroscopy using experimental data collected on atomic rubidium vapor. Finally, a related technique known as super-resolution is applied to open quantum systems to obtain realistic models of a protein environment, in the form of atomistic spectral densities, at lower computational cost.

The second half of this thesis deals with matrices in quantum chemistry. It presents a new use of compressed sensing for more efficient matrix recovery whenever the calculation of individual matrix elements is the computational bottleneck. The technique is applied to the computation of the second-derivative Hessian matrices in electronic structure calculations to obtain the vibrational modes and frequencies of molecules. When applied to anthracene, this technique results in a threefold speed-up, with greater speed-ups possible for larger molecules. The implementation of the method in the Q-Chem commercial software package is described. Moreover, the method provides a general framework for bootstrapping cheap low-accuracy calculations in order to reduce the required number of expensive high-accuracy calculations.
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