THE weighted histogram analysis method for free-energy calculations on biomolecules. I. The method
The Weighted Histogram Analysis Method (WHAM), an extension of Ferrenberg and Swendsen's Multiple Histogram Technique, has been applied for the first time on complex biomolecular Hamiltonians. The method is presented here as an extension of the Umbrella Sampling method for free-energy and Potential of Mean Force calculations. This algorithm possesses the following advantages over methods that are currently employed: (1) It provides a built-in estimate of sampling errors thereby yielding objective estimates of the optimal location and length of additional simulations needed to achieve a desired level of precision; (2) it yields the “best” value of free energies by taking into account all the simulations so as to minimize the statistical errors; (3) in addition to optimizing the links between simulations, it also allows multiple overlaps of probability distributions for obtaining better estimates of the free-energy differences. By recasting the Ferrenberg–Swendsen Multiple Histogram equations in a form suitable for molecular mechanics type Hamiltonians, we have demonstrated the feasibility and robustness of this method by applying it to a test problem of the generation of the Potential of Mean Force profile of the pseudorotation phase angle of the sugar ring in deoxyadenosine. © 1992 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.