Simulated Annealing#

The well known simulated annealing (SA) protocol is supported in GROMACS, and you can even couple multiple groups of atoms separately with an arbitrary number of reference temperatures that change during the simulation. The annealing is implemented by simply changing the current reference temperature for each group in the temperature coupling, so the actual relaxation and coupling properties depends on the type of thermostat you use and how hard you are coupling it. Since we are changing the reference temperature it is important to remember that the system will NOT instantaneously reach this value - you need to allow for the inherent relaxation time in the coupling algorithm too. If you are changing the annealing reference temperature faster than the temperature relaxation you will probably end up with a crash when the difference becomes too large.

The annealing protocol is specified as a series of corresponding times and reference temperatures for each group, and you can also choose whether you only want a single sequence (after which the temperature will be coupled to the last reference value), or if the annealing should be periodic and restart at the first reference point once the sequence is completed. You can mix and match both types of annealing and non-annealed groups in your simulation.