Physics-constrained robust learning of open-form PDEs from limited and noisy data

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Mengge Du, Longfeng Nie, Siyu Lou, Yuntian Chenc, Dongxiao Zhang


Unveiling the underlying governing equations of nonlinear dynamic systems remains a significant challenge, especially when encountering noisy observations and no prior knowledge available. This study proposes R-DISCOVER, a framework designed to robustly uncover open-form partial differential equations (PDEs) from limited and noisy data. The framework operates through two alternating update processes: discovering and embedding. The discovering phase employs symbolic representation and a reinforcement learning (RL)-guided hybrid PDE generator to efficiently produce diverse open-form PDEs with tree structures. A neural network-based predictive model fits the system response and serves as the reward evaluator for the generated PDEs. PDEs with superior fits are utilized to iteratively optimize the generator via the RL method and the best-performing PDE is selected by a parameter-free stability metric. The embedding phase integrates the initially identified PDE from the discovering process as a physical constraint into the predictive model for robust training. The traversal of PDE trees automates the construction of the computational graph and the embedding process without human intervention. Numerical experiments demonstrate our framework's capability to uncover governing equations from nonlinear dynamic systems with limited and highly noisy data and outperform other physics-informed neural network-based discovery methods. This work opens new potential for exploring real-world systems with limited understanding.

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