MultiDark and Bolshoi Project

The Spanish MultiDark project is dedicated towards efforts of identifying and detecting dark matter. The Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam in collaboration with the MultiDark consortium created the MultiDark Database in order to publish cosmological simulations. Scientists worldwide are invited to exploit these data for the study of the large scale structure of the universe as well as the properties of dark matter halos. The first three simulations that were published (MDR1, Bolshoi and MDPL) have fully moved to this CosmoSim webpage. More MultiDark simulations are added when available.

The CosmoSim database provides data from the following simulations:

Planck cosmology:

  • MDPL: 1 Gpc/h box with 38403 particles (MultiDark-Planck)
  • MDPL2: Same as MDPL, but different initial seed
  • BigMDPL: 2.5 Gpc/h box with 38403 particles (Big MultiDark-Planck)
  • SMDPL: 400 Mpc/h box with 38403 particles (Small MultiDark-Planck)
  • BolshoiP: 250 Mpc/h box with 20483 particles
  • VSMDPL: 160 Mpc/h box with 38403 particles (available in Files for download)
  • HugeMDPL: 4 Gpc/h box with 40963 particles (available in Files for download)

WMAP5 cosmology:

  • MDR1: A 1 Gpc/h box with 20483 particles, similar to MDPL, but with WMAP5 cosmology and lower particle resolution. Also called “BigBolshoi”.
  • Bolshoi: 250 Mpc/h box with 20483 particles, same as Bolshoi, but with WMAP5 cosmology.
    Also see the Bolshoi webpage.


In order to properly acknowledge our efforts, we request the following paragraph to be included in the “Acknowledgements” section of any publication which makes use of the simulation data above via the CosmoSim or MultiDark database:

Acknowledgements – Database

“The CosmoSim database used in this paper is a service by the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP).
The MultiDark database was developed in cooperation with the Spanish MultiDark Consolider Project CSD2009-00064.”

Acknowledgements – Simulations

The authors gratefully acknowledge the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing e.V. ( and the Partnership for Advanced Supercomputing in Europe (PRACE, for funding the MultiDark simulation project by providing computing time on the GCS Supercomputer SuperMUC at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ,

The Bolshoi simulations have been performed within the Bolshoi project of the University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC) and were run at the NASA Ames Research Center.


The CosmoSim database team consists of:

  • Database Technical Development: Harry Enke, Adrian Partl, Kristin Riebe, Jochen Klar, Anastasia Galkin, Yori Fournier, Kirill Makan
  • Database Scientific Coordination: Stefan Gottlöber, Anatoly Klypin, Alexander Knebe, Noam Libeskind, Francisco Prada, Gustavo Yepes

The MultiDark Planck simulation suite has been performed by Gustavo Yepes at the SuperMUC supercomputer at LRZ using time granted by PRACE and project time granted by LRZ. Processed data of these simulations were created by P. Behroozi, S. Gottlöber, A. Klypin, N. Libeskind, F. Prada, V. Turchaninov and G. Yepes.

The database contains raw data of the Bolshoi and MDR1 simulations performed by A. Klypin at NAS Ames and processed data of these simulations created by J. Forero-Romero, S. Gottlöber, A. Klypin, F. Prada, V. Turchaninov, P. Behroozi. We would like to thank Anatoly Klypin and Joel Primack for providing the raw data.

We are grateful to Matthias Steinmetz and Carlos Muñoz for the permanent support given to our project.


You are welcome to use the simulation data in the database for your own scientific purposes without further consultation with the scientists who generated them. If you use the data in a publication or proposal please cite the appropriate paper(s):


  • Halo concentrations in the standard LCDM cosmology; Prada et al. (2012), MNRAS, 423, 3018


  • Dark matter halos in the standard cosmological model: results from the Bolshoi simulation; Klypin, Trujillo-Gomez & Primack (2011), ApJ, 740, 102

MDPL, MDPL2, SMDPL and BigMD suite:

  • MultiDark simulations: the story of dark matter halo concentrations and density profiles; Klypin, Yepes, Gottlöber, Prada, Heß, (2016) MNRAS 457, 4340

MultiDark Database:

  • The MultiDark Database: Release of the Bolshoi and MultiDark Cosmological Simulations; Riebe, Partl, Enke, Forero-Romero, Gottlöber, Klypin, Lemson, Prada, Primack, Steinmetz, Turchaninov (2013), AN, 334, 691

Halo finders:

  • Halo finders: Knebe et al. 2011, Halos gone MAD: The Halo-Finder Comparison Project, MNRAS 415, 2293
  • Rockstar: Behroozi, Wechsler and Wu, 2013, The ROCKSTAR Phase-space Temporal Halo Finder and the Velocity Offsets of Cluster Cores, APJ 762, 109
  • AHF: Knollmann & Knebe, 2009, AHF: Amiga’s Halo Finder, APJS 182, 608
  • BDM: Klypin & Holtzman 1997: Particle-Mesh code for cosmological simulations, ArXiv
    Please note that the BDM code used for producing the data in this database was improved a lot since 1997. For details please contact the author (Anatoly Klypin) directly.
  • FOF: Riebe et al. (2013), AN, 334, 691

Galaxy data:

We are currently (spring 2016) preparing and uploading galaxy catalogues using the following semi-analytical tools (SAM):

  • Galacticus: Andrew Benson, Christoph Behrens
  • SAG: Sofia Cora, Nelson Padilla & Cristian Vega
  • SAGE: Darren Croton & Adam Stevens

More details will be added when the catalogues are publicly available. An overview on these models is available at Knebe et al. 2015

Cluster mock catalogues:

  • Zandanel, Pfrommer & Prada 2014: A Phenomenological Model for the Intracluster Medium that matches X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel’dovich observations, MNRAS 438, 116
  • Zandanel, Pfrommer & Prada 2014: On the Physics of Radio Halos in Galaxy Clusters: Scaling Relations and Luminosity Functions, MNRAS 438, 124

Cosmic web:

  • Tidal tensor: Forero-Romero, Hoffman, Gottlöber, Klypin, Yepes, 2009, A dynamical classification of the cosmic web, MNRAS 396, 1815
  • Velocity tensor: Hoffman,Metuki, Yepes, Gottlöber,Forero-Romero, Libeskind,Knebe, 2012: A kinematic classification of the cosmic web, MNRAS 425, 2049