Nikhil Muralidhar, Jie Bu, Naren Ramakrishnan, Anuj Karpatne 


Physics-based simulations are often used to model and understand complex physical systems and processes in domains like fluid dynamics. Such simulations, although used frequently, have many limitations which could arise either due to the inability to accurately model a physical process owing to incomplete knowledge about certain facets of the process or due to the underlying process being too complex to accurately encode into a simulation model. In such situations, it is often useful to rely on machine learning methods to fill in 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 often helpful if the rich physical knowledge of the application domain is incorporated in the architectural design of machine learning models. Further, 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 paper, we propose PhyDNN, 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(CFD-DEM). We conduct extensive experiments in the context of drag force prediction and showcase the usefulness of including physics knowledge in our deep learning formulation both in the design and through learning process. Our proposed PhyDNN model has been compared to several state-of-the-art models and achieves a significant performance improvement of 8.46% on average across all baseline models.


Jie Bu

Naren Ramakrishnan

Anuj Karpatne 

Nikhil Muralidhar

Publication Details

Date of publication:
November 6, 2019
Cornell University
Publication note:

Nikhil Muralidhar, Jie Bu, Ze Cao, Long He, Naren Ramakrishnan, Danesh K. Tafti, Anuj Karpatne: Physics-guided Design and Learning of Neural Networks for Predicting Drag Force on Particle Suspensions in Moving Fluids. CoRR abs/1911.04240 (2019)