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Workshop: Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences

Physics-Driven Convolutional Autoencoder Approach for CFD Data Compressions

Alberto Olmo · Ahmed Zamzam · Andrew Glaws · Ryan King


With the growing size and complexity of turbulent flow models, data compression approaches are of the utmost importance to analyze, visualize, or restart the simulations. Recently, in-situ autoencoder-based compression approaches have been proposed and shown to be effective at producing reduced representations of turbulent flow data. However, these approaches focus solely on training the model using point-wise sample reconstruction losses that do not take advantage of the physical properties of turbulent flows. In this paper, we show that training autoencoders with additional physics-informed regularizations, e.g., enforcing incompressibility and preserving enstrophy, improves the compression model in three ways: (i) the compressed data better conform to known physics for homogeneous isotropic turbulence without negatively impacting point-wise reconstruction quality, (ii) inspection of the gradients of the trained model uncovers changes to the learned compression mapping that can facilitate the use of explainability techniques, and(iii) as a performance byproduct, training losses are shown to converge up to 12x faster than the baseline model.

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