Pseudo-random number generation for Brownian Dynamics and Dissipative Particle Dynamics simulations on GPU devices

Carolyn L. Phillips, Joshua A. Anderson, Sharon C. Glotzer
University of Michigan
Journal of Computational Physics (June 2011)


   title={Pseudo-Random Number Generation for Brownian Dynamics and Dissipative Particle Dynamics Simulations on GPU Devices},

   author={Phillips, C. and Anderson, J. and Glotzer, S.},

   journal={Bulletin of the American Physical Society},





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Brownian Dynamics (BD), also known as Langevin Dynamics, and Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) are implicit solvent methods commonly used in models of soft matter and biomolecular systems. The interaction of the numerous solvent particles with larger particles is coarse-grained as a Langevin thermostat is applied to individual particles or to particle pairs. The Langevin thermostat requires a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) to generate the stochastic force applied to each particle or pair of neighboring particles during each time step in the integration of Newton’s equations of motion. In a Single-Instruction-Multiple-Thread (SIMT) GPU parallel computing environment, small batches of random numbers must be generated over thousands of threads and millions of kernel calls. In this communication we introduce a one-PRNG-per-kernel-call-per-thread scheme, in which a micro-stream of pseudorandom numbers is generated in each thread and kernel call. These high quality, statistically robust micro-streams require no global memory for state storage, are more computationally efficient than other PRNG schemes in memory-bound kernels, and uniquely enable the DPD simulation method without requiring communication between threads.
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