Variational Monte Carlo on a Budget — Fine-tuning pre-trained Neural Wavefunctions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Michael Scherbela, Leon Gerard, Philipp Grohs


Obtaining accurate solutions to the Schrödinger equation is the key challenge in computational quantum chemistry. Deep-learning-based Variational Monte Carlo (DL-VMC) has recently outperformed conventional approaches in terms of accuracy, but only at large computational cost.Whereas in many domains models are trained once and subsequently applied for inference, accurate DL-VMC so far requires a full optimization for every new problem instance, consuming thousands of GPUhs even for small molecules.We instead propose a DL-VMC model which has been pre-trained using self-supervised wavefunction optimization on a large and chemically diverse set of molecules. Applying this model to new molecules without any optimization, yields wavefunctions and absolute energies that outperform established methods such as CCSD(T)-2Z.To obtain accurate relative energies, only few fine-tuning steps of this base model are required.We accomplish this with a fully end-to-end machine-learned model, consisting of an improved geometry embedding architecture and an existing SE(3)-equivariant model to represent molecular orbitals. Combining this architecture with continuous sampling of geometries, we improve zero-shot accuracy by two orders of magnitude compared to the state of the art.We extensively evaluate the accuracy, scalability and limitations of our base model on a wide variety of test systems.