The launch of the E-CAM Online Training Portal


We are pleased to announce that our E-CAM training portal is now online. Access instructions here.

The goals and expected impacts for our online training infrastructure are to:

  •   Collect the content captured at our Extended Software Development Workshops (ESDWs), allowing participants to re-visit lectures or demonstrations in their own time, both during and after the meeting. Such material can also be used by people who did not have the opportunity to attend the ESDW in person (particularly interested industries);
  •   Generate online training modules for each ESDW, which will be a set of preparatory materials shared with the participants of the event and that will allow everyone to acquire the same basic knowledge before the meeting;
  •   Be a repository for the data associated to our events, such as captured lectures, lecture materials, reading materials, tutorial content and software requirements;
  •   Build tutorials on programming best practices to develop software for extreme-scale hardware, that we can propose to the extended E-CAM community;
  •   Associate with other groups and projects with similar training scope, to cover for different and broader training material.


Information on the access to the portal, terminology and instructions for ESDW participants is at this link. The content of the training portal  is freely available upon registration, but we also keep a selection of publicly available lectures accessible directly from the E-CAM website.



E-CAM Case Study: The implementation of a hierarchical equilibration strategy for polymer melts, to help studying the rheological properties of new composite materials

Dr. Hideki Kobayashi, Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Germany


The ability to accurately determine and predict properties of newly developed polymer materials is highly important to researchers and industry, but at the same time represents a significant theoretical and computational challenge. We have developed a novel multiscale simulation method based on the hierarchical equilibration strategy, which significantly decreases the equilibrium properties calculation time while satisfying the thermodynamic consistency. A number of E-CAM modules was developed and implemented in he ESPResSo++ software package.

Continue reading…


Coarse-Graining module, a Component of the Hierarchical Equilibration Strategy for Polymer Melts

To study the properties of polymer melts by numerical simulations, equilibrated configurations must be prepared. However, the relaxation time for high molecular weight polymer melts is huge and increases, according to reptation theory, with the third power of the molecular weight. Hence, an effective method for decreasing the equilibration time is required. The hierarchical strategy pioneered in Ref. [1] is a particularly suitable way to do this. The present module provides a part of that method.

To decrease the relaxation time, microscopic monomers are coarse-grained (CG) by mapping each subchain with N_{b} monomers onto a soft blob. The CG system is then characterized by a much lower molecular weight and thus is equilibrated quickly. The present module provides a python script which performs this coarse-graining procedure. The implementation details can be seen in the module’s documentation on our software Library here. This module is part of a set of codes that together implement the Hierarchical Equilibration strategy of Ref. [1], in the ESPResSO++ [2] (for the complete list of modules, see here under ESPResSO++).


Practical application and exploitation of the code

The development of a multiscale method for polymer blends and block copolymers is fundamentally new and needs to be based on first-principles theory. This is therefore an intellectual challenge in its own right. Furthermore, this paves the way to analyze the physical properties of novel composite materials that attract the attention of industrial companies. Such materials may be promising ingredients of new products like e.g. efficient and environment-friendly car tires. The implementation of the Hierarchical Equilibration strategy in the ESPResSO++ package is a step towards achieving this goal. In particular,  the practical application of this strategy is the E-CAM pilot project in collaboration with Michelin aimed at studying the Rheological Properties of New Composite Materials.

E-CAM deliverables D4.2 and D4.3 contain more information on the suite of programs developed under this pilot project.


[1] Zhang, G., Moreira, L. A., Stuehn, T., Daoulas, K. C., and Kremer, K., Equilibration of High Molecular Weight Polymer Melts: A Hierarchical Strategy, ACS Macro Lett., 3, 198-203 (2014)

[2] ESPResSo++ is the “Extensible Software Package for Research in Soft Matter based upon C++”, a general-purpose simulation package for soft-matter research, mainly developed at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research Mainz. It is freely available under the GNU Public License.


6 software modules recently delivered in the area of Quantum Dynamics


In this report for Deliverable 3.3 of E-CAM [1], 6 software modules in quantum dynamics are presented. Four modules stem from some of the activities performed during the Extended Software Development Workshop (ESDW) held by E-CAM at University College Dublin in July 2017 and originate from input of E-CAM’s academic user base. The other two modules were developed following discussions with our industrial partner IBM, in the framework of E-CAM’s pilot project on Quantum Computing.

Following the order of presentation, the 6 modules are named: LocConQubit, OpenQubit, PaPIM, PIM_wd, PIM_qcf, Openmpbeads. They include code for generation of controlled pulses for qubits and for calculation of quantum time correlation functions and their documentation.

In this report, a short description is written for each module, followed by a link to the respective Merge-Request on theGitLab service of E-CAM. These merge requests contain detailed information about the code development, testing and documentation of the modules. A performance analysis for PaPIM, a package merging the functionality of several modules for quantum dynamics developed in E-CAM and structured to act as a high-performance container for future modules, is also presented. This analysis was performed by the E-CAM software group, in collaboration with the POP Center of Excellence for Computing Applications.

[1] S. Bonella, M. Mališ, A. O’Cais, and L. Liang, “D3.3.: Quantum dynamics e-cam modules ii,” Mar. 2018. [Online]. Available:

Full report available here.



New report published: Identification / Selection of E-CAM Electronic Structure Codes for Development


Read our latest report on the state of the art codes and methods in Quantum Monte Carlo, Density Functional Theory (DFT) and beyond DFT methods. This report contains a review of the software available in these areas and on the basic features that the majority of these codes have in common with a view to modularisation. Based on that, a list of software development projects to be developed by E-CAM is discussed.

Full report available here.


Open call for CECAM flagship event proposals 2019



The CECAM CALL for workshops and schools that will run from April 2019 to March 2020 is now opened! The text for the call and information on how to submit a proposal can be found at Deadline for submissions is 16 July 2018.


Good luck!



Contact Map – a package for analyzing and exploring contacts, from a trajectory generated by MD


Contacts can be an important tool for defining (meta)stable states in processes involving biomolecules. For example, an analysis of contacts can be particularly useful when defining bound states during a binding processes between proteins, DNA, and small molecules (such as potential drugs).

The contacts analyzed by the contact_map package can be either intermolecular or intramolecular, and can be analyzed on a residue-residue basis or an atom-atom basis.

This package makes it very easy to answer questions like:

  • What contacts are present in a trajectory?
  • Which contacts are most common in a trajectory?
  • What is the difference between the frequency of contacts in one trajectory and another? (Or with a specific frame, such as a PDB entry.)
  • For a particular residue-residue contact pair of interest, which atoms are most frequently in contact?

It also facilitates visualization of the contact matrix, with colors representing the fraction of trajectory time that the contact was present. Full documentation available at

Information about software installation, testing and a link to the source code, can be found in our E-CAM software Library here.

Practical application and exploitation of the code

The practical application of this software module is the pilot project in collaboration with BiKi Technologies on “Binding Kinetics“, sustained by an E-CAM postdoctoral researcher at University of Amsterdam.  The project aims at investigating the binding/unbinding of a selective reversible inhibitor for protein GSK3β.

Contacts between a ligand and a protein are an excellent way to characterize “hotspots” – states where the ligand stays for a significant amount of time, but not nearly as long as in the final binding pocket. These hotspots are metastable states in path sampling, and should be treated with a multiple state approach. Therefore, attempting to identify those states would be a necessarily preliminary step to prepare the path sampling simulation.

Other more general applications to this module include protein-protein aggregation or DNA-protein binding, as well as large scale conformational changes in biomolecules, such as protein folding.



Scientific reports from the 2017 E-CAM workshops, are now available on our website


The scientific reports* from the following workshops conducted in year 2 of the project E-CAM (2017):

  1. E-CAM Scoping Workshop: “From the Atom to the Material” , 18- 20 September 2017, University of Cambridge, UK,
  2. E-CAM State-of-the-Art Workshop WP4: Meso and Multiscale Modelling, 29 May – 1 June 2017, University College Dublin, Ireland,

are now available for download on our website at this location. Furthermore, they will also integrate the CECAM Report of Activities 2017, published every year on the website

Each report includes:

  • an overview of the remit of the workshop,
  • the workshop program,
  • the list of attendees,
  • the major outcomes,
  • how these outcomes relate to community needs,
  • how the recommendation could be funded,
  • and how they relate to society and industry,
  • emphasis and impact on software development.


*© CECAM 2017, all rights reserved.

Please address any comments or questions to


New report published: Identification / Selection of E-CAM Quantum Dynamics Codes for Development


As technologies reach atomic length and energy scales, the simulation of quantum effects acquires practical interest beyond basic science in areas ranging from sustainable energy, to medicine, to quantum computing. Brute force simulation of quantum dynamical properties, however, is currently out of reach due to the exponential scaling of its cost with the system size, and the development of approximate methods is an active field that must be coupled with the development of highly effective software to reach the computational capacity necessary to target significant applications. The goal of E-CAM’s Work-package 3 “Quantum Dynamics” (WP3) is to develop software to contribute to this effort by implementing relevant algorithms and fostering the transition from in-house codes to reliable, modular, scalable and well documented community packages.

In this report, we first review current algorithms for the simulation of quantum dynamics, focusing in particular on approximate schemes that achieve satisfactory accuracy with manageable numerical cost and have good potential for massively parallel implementations. We then discuss software packages that make these methods available, focusing in particular on codes that enable to interface quantum dynamical algorithms with ab initio evaluation of the interactions in the system. Finally, we give an overview of the software modules to be developed within WP3 of E-CAM.

Full report available here.



Metal-ion force field developed by E-CAM using novel Machine Learning procedure is now available for download


The database of the force fields developed by the SNS SMART group (SNS, Pisa, Italy), including the metal-ions force fields optimized within E-CAM using novel Machine Learning procedure (reported in a recent publication[1] and in a case study reported by E-CAM here), are now available for download at

[1] Francesco Fracchia, Gianluca Del Frate, Giordano Mancini, Walter Rocchia, and Vincenzo Barone, Force Field Parametrization of Metal Ions from Statistical Learning Techniques, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2018, 14, 255−273 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.7b00779