Development of Surrogate Model for FEM Error Prediction using Deep Learning

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Virginia Tech

This research is a proof-of-concept study to develop a surrogate model, using deep learning (DL), to predict solution error for a given model with a given mesh. For this research, we have taken the von Mises stress contours and have predicted two different types of error indicators contours, namely (i) von Mises error indicator (MISESERI), and (ii) energy density error indicator (ENDENERI). Error indicators are designed to identify the solution domain areas where the gradient has not been properly captured. It uses the spatial gradient distribution of the existing solution for a given mesh to estimate the error. Due to poor meshing and nature of the finite element method, these error indicators are leveraged to study and reduce errors in the finite element solution using an adaptive remeshing scheme. Adaptive re-meshing is an iterative and computationally expensive process to reduce the error computed during the post-processing step. To overcome this limitation we propose an approach to replace it using data-driven techniques. We have introduced an image processing-based surrogate model designed to solve an image-to-image regression problem using convolutional neural networks (CNN) that takes a 256 × 256 colored image of von mises stress contour and outputs the required error indicator. To train this model with good generalization performance we have developed four different geometries for each of the three case studies: (i) quarter plate with a hole, (b) simply supported plate with multiple holes, and (c) simply supported stiffened plate. The entire research is implemented in a three phase approach, phase I involves the design and development of a CNN to perform training on stress contour images with their corresponding von Mises stress values volume-averaged over the entire domain. Phase II involves developing a surrogate model to perform image-to-image regression and the final phase III involves extending the capabilities of phase II and making the surrogate model more generalized and robust. The final surrogate model used to train the global dataset of 12,000 images consists of three auto encoders, one encoder-decoder assembly, and two multi-output regression neural networks. With the error of less than 1% in the neural network training shows good memorization and generalization performance. Our final surrogate model takes 15.5 hours to train and less than a minute to predict the error indicators on testing datasets. Thus, this present study can be considered a good first step toward developing an adaptive remeshing scheme using deep neural networks.

Deep Learning, Convolution Neural Networks, Finite Element Analysis, Surrogate Model, Adaptive Remeshing