Coarse-scale PDEs from fine-scale observations via machine learning


Complex spatiotemporal dynamics of physicochemical processes are often modeled at a microscopic level (through, e.g., atomistic, agent-based, or lattice models) based on first principles. Some of these processes can also be successfully modeled at the macroscopic level using, e.g., partial differential equations (PDEs) describing the evolution of the right few macroscopic observables (e.g., concentration and momentum fields). Deriving good macroscopic descriptions (the so-called “closure problem”) is often a time-consuming process requiring deep understanding/intuition about the system of interest. Recent developments in data science provide alternative ways to effectively extract/learn accurate macroscopic descriptions approximating the underlying microscopic observations. In this paper, we introduce a data-driven framework for the identification of unavailable coarse-scale PDEs from microscopic observations via machine-learning algorithms. Specifically, using Gaussian processes, artificial neural networks, and/or diffusion maps, the proposed framework uncovers the relation between the relevant macroscopic space fields and their time evolution (the right-hand side of the explicitly unavailable macroscopic PDE). Interestingly, several choices equally representative of the data can be discovered. The framework will be illustrated through the data-driven discovery of macroscopic, concentration-level PDEs resulting from a fine-scale, lattice Boltzmann level model of a reaction/transport process. Once the coarse evolution law is identified, it can be simulated to produce long-term macroscopic predictions. Different features (pros as well as cons) of alternative machine-learning algorithms for performing this task (Gaussian processes and artificial neural networks) are presented and discussed.

Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 30, no. 1 (2020): 013141
Mahdi Kooshkbaghi
Mahdi Kooshkbaghi
Staff Machine Learning Engineer