Advanced topics


Each sub-step of an iteration and all direct calls can be adjusted to the user needs. The internal part of the iterative framework is organized as follows: all scripts are called using two keywords

csg_call key1 key2

For example, csg_call update imc calls the update script for the inverse Monte Carlo procedure. The corresponding keywords are listed in Scripts or can be output directly by calling

csg_call --list

It is advised not to change already implemented scripts. To customize a script or add a new one, copy the script to your own directory (set by inverse.scriptpath) and redirect its call by creating your own csg_table file in this directory which looks like this

key1 key2 script1 options
key3 key4 script2

If the local keys are already in use, the existing call will be overloaded.

As an example, we will illustrate how to overload the script which calls the sampling package. The csg_inverse script runs mdrun from the GROMACS package only on one cpu. Our task will be to change the script so that GROMACS uses 8 cpus, which is basically the same as adding mpirun options in inverse.gromacs.mdrun.command.

First we find out which script calls mdrun:

csg_call --list | grep gromacs

The output should look as follows

init gromacs
prepare gromacs
run gromacs
pressure gromacs
rdf gromacs
imc_stat gromacs
convert_potential gromacs

the third line indicates the script we need. If the output of csg_call is not clear, one can try to find the right script in Scripts. Alternatively, check the folder


for all available scripts.

Analyzing the output of

csg_call --cat run gromacs

we can conclude that this is indeed the script we need as the content (in shorted form is):

critical mdrun

Now we can create our own SCRIPTDIR, add a new script there, make it executable and overload the call of the script:

mkdir -p SCRIPTDIR
cp `csg_call --quiet --show run gromacs` SCRIPTDIR/
chmod 755 SCRIPTDIR/
echo "run gromacs" >> SCRIPTDIR/csg_table

Please note that is the name of the script and SCRIPTDIR is the custom script directory, which can be a global or a local path. Now we change the last line of to:

critical mpirun -np 8 mdrun

This completes the customization. Do not forget to add SCRIPTDIR to inverse.scriptpath in the setting XML file (see Settings file).

You can check the new script by running:

csg_call --scriptdir SCRIPTDIR --list
csg_call --scriptdir SCRIPTDIR --run run gromacs

Finally, do not forget to remove the license infomation and change the version number of the script.

Used external packages


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DL_POLY interface

WARNING: The DL_POLY interface is still experimental (in development) but it does support the Iterative Boltzmann Inversion and Inverse Monte Carlo schemes. The Force Matching might work as well, although it has not been tested thoroughly.

The DL_POLY interface fully supports coarse-grain mapping of a full-atom system previuosly simulated with any version of DL_POLY, including DL_POLY-Classic. However, the full optimization of the effective potentials with the aid of iterative methods will only become possible when the new release of DL_POLY-4 (4.06) is made public; the reason being the incapability of earlier DL_POLY versions of using user-specified tabulated force-fields for intramolecular, aka “bonded”, interactions: bonds, angles, dihedral angles (torsions). Below the coarse-graining and CG force-field optimization with the aid of the latest DL_POLY-4 version (4.06+) are outlined.

Running VOTCA with DL_POLY-4 as MD simulation engine is very similar to doing so with GROMACS. The three types of required input files in the case of DL_POLY are: CONTROL – containing the simulation directives and parameters (instead of .mdp file for GROMACS), FIELD – the topology and force-field specifications (instead of .top and .tpr files), and CONFIG (instead of .gro file) – the initial configuration file, containing the MD cell matrix and particle coordinates (it can also include initial velocities and/or forces); for details see DL_POLY-4 manual. Most of the VOTCA tools and scripts described above in the case of using GROMACS will work in the same manner, with the following conventional substitutions for the (default) file names used in options for VOTCA scripts, as necessary:

.dlpf = the topology read from FIELD or written to FIELD_CGV
.dlpc = the configuration read from CONFIG or written to CONFIG_CGV
.dlph = the trajectory read from HISTORY or written to HISTORY_CGV

It is also possible to specify file names different from the standard DL_POLY convention, in which case the user has to use the corresponding dot-preceded extension(s); for example: FA-FIELD.dlpf instead of FIELD or CG-HISTORY.dlph instead of HISTORY_CGV (see Programs, as well as the man pages or output of VOTCA commands, with option --help).

VOTCA follows the DL_POLY conventions for file names and formats. Thus, csg_dlptopol and csg_map produce the CG topology (FIELD_CGV by default), configuration (CONFIG_CGV), and/or trajectory (HISTORY_CGV) files fully compatible with and usable by DL_POLY. Note that the ability of these tools to read and write a plethora of different file formats provides means to convert input and output files between the simulation packages supported by VOTCA, e.g. GROMACS – DL_POLY or vice versa. The user is, however, strongly advised to check the resulting files for consistency before using them).

Similarly, the distribution analysis and potential/force generation utilities, such as csg_stat and VOTCA scripts, will read and write DL_POLY-formatted files; in particular, the tabulated force-field files containing the potential and force/virial data: TABLE – for short-range (VdW) “non-bonded” interactions, TABBND, TABANG and TABDIH – for “bonded” interations: bonds, bending angles and dihedrals, correspondingly (for the format details see DL_POLY-4 manual). Note, however, that the latter three files can only be used by DL_POLY-4 (4.06+).

The user is advised to search for “dlpoly” through the csg_defaults.xml, csg_table files and in scripts located in share/votca/scripts/inverse/ in order to find out about the xml-tags and options specific for DL_POLY; see also Settings file and Scripts.