Scalability improvements to NRLMOL for DFT calculations of large molecules

Carlos Manuel Diaz, University of Texas at El Paso


Advances in high performance computing (HPC) have provided a way to treat large, computationally demanding tasks using thousands of processors. With the development of more powerful HPC architectures, the need to create efficient and scalable code has grown more important. Electronic structure calculations are valuable in understanding experimental observations and are routinely used for new materials predictions. For the electronic structure calculations, the memory and computation time are proportional to the number of atoms. Memory requirements for these calculations scale as N2, where N is the number of atoms. While the recent advances in HPC offer platforms with large numbers of cores, the limited amount of memory available on a given node and poor scalability of the electronic structure code hinder their efficient usage of these platforms. This thesis will present some developments to overcome these bottlenecks in order to study large systems. These developments, which are implemented in the NRLMOL electronic structure code, involve the use of sparse matrix storage formats and the use of linear algebra using sparse and distributed matrices. These developments along with other related development now allow ground state density functional calculations using up to 25,000 basis functions and the excited state calculations using up to 17,000 basis functions while utilizing all cores on a node. An example on a light-harvesting triad molecule is described. Finally, future plans to further improve the scalability will be presented.

Subject Area

Quantum physics|Physics|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Diaz, Carlos Manuel, "Scalability improvements to NRLMOL for DFT calculations of large molecules" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10247236.