Accelerating All-Atom Normal Mode Analysis with Graphics Processing Unit

Li Liu, Xiaofeng Liu, Jiayu Gong, Hualiang Jiang, Honglin Li
State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, Vol. 0, No. 0. (0000)


   title={Accelerating All-Atom Normal Mode Analysis with Graphics Processing Unit},

   author={Liu, L. and Liu, X. and Gong, J. and Jiang, H. and Li, H.},

   journal={Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation},

   publisher={ACS Publications},



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All-atom normal mode analysis (NMA) is an efficient way to predict the collective motions in a given macromolecule, which is essential for the understanding of protein biological function and drug design. However, the calculations are limited in time scale mainly because the required diagonalization of the Hessian matrix by Householder-QR transformation is a computationally exhausting task. In this paper, we demonstrate the parallel computing power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) in NMA by mapping Householder-QR transformation onto GPU using Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA). The results revealed that the GPU-accelerated all-atom NMA could reduce the runtime of diagonalization significantly and achieved over 20x speedup over CPU-based NMA. In addition, we analyzed the influence of precision on both the performance and the accuracy of GPU. Although the performance of GPU with double precision is weaker than that with single precision in theory, more accurate results and an acceptable speedup of double precision were obtained in our approach by reducing the data transfer time to a minimum. Finally, the inherent drawbacks of GPU and the corresponding solution to deal with the limitation in computational scale are also discussed in this study.
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