Nikhil Muralidhar, Jie Bu, Naren Ramakrishnan, Anuj Karpatne 


Physics-based simulations are often used to model and understand complex physical systems in domains such as fluid dynamics. Such simulations, although used frequently, often suffer from inaccurate or incomplete representations either due to their high computational costs or due to lack of complete physical knowledge of the system. In such situations, it is useful to employ machine learning (ML) to fill the gap by learning a model of the complex physical process directly from simulation data. However, as data generation through simulations is costly, we need to develop models being cognizant of data paucity issues. In such scenarios, it is helpful if the rich physical knowledge of the application domain is incorporated in the architectural design of ML models. We can also use information from physics-based simulations to guide the learning process using aggregate supervision to favorably constrain the learning process. In this article, we propose PhyNet, a deep learning model using physics-guided structural priors and physics-guided aggregate supervision for modeling the drag forces acting on each particle in a computational fluid dynamics–discrete element method. We conduct extensive experiments in the context of drag force prediction and showcase the usefulness of including physics knowledge in our deep learning formulation. PhyNet has been compared with several state-of-the-art models and achieves a significant performance improvement of 7.09% on average. The source code has been made available*.


Jie Bu

Naren Ramakrishnan

Anuj Karpatne 

Publication Details

Date of publication:
October 19, 2020
Big Data
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Publication note:

Nikhil Muralidhar, Jie Bu, Ze Cao, Long He, Naren Ramakrishnan, Danesh K. Tafti, Anuj Karpatne: Physics-Guided Deep Learning for Drag Force Prediction in Dense Fluid-Particulate Systems. Big Data 8(5): 431-449 (2020)