On the connection between dissipative particle dynamics and the Itô-Stratonovich dilemma Academic Article uri icon


  • Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) is a popular simulation model for investigating hydrodynamic behavior of systems with non-negligible equilibrium thermal fluctuations. DPD employs soft core repulsive interactions between the system particles, thus allowing them to overlap. This supposedly permits relatively large integration time steps, which is an important feature for simulations on large temporal scales. In practice, however, an increase in the integration time step leads to increasingly larger systematic errors in the sampling statistics. Here, we demonstrate that the prime origin of these systematic errors is the multiplicative nature of the thermal noise term in Langevin’s equation, i.e., the fact that it depends on the instantaneous coordinates of the particles. This lead to an ambiguity in the interpretation of the stochastic differential Langevin equation, known as the Itô-Stratonovich dilemma. Based on insights from previous studies of the dilemma, we propose a novel algorithm for DPD simulations exhibiting almost an order of magnitude improvement in accuracy, and nearly twice the efficiency of commonly used DPD Langevin thermostats.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016