- Abstract: Learning to reason about relations and dynamics over multiple interacting objects is a challenging topic in machine learning. The challenges mainly stem from that the interacting systems are exponentially-compositional, symmetrical, and commonly geometrically-constrained. Current methods, particularly the ones based on equivariant Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), have targeted on the first two challenges but remain immature for constrained systems. In this paper, we propose Graph Mechanics Network (GMN) which is combinatorially efficient, equivariant and constraint-aware. The core of GMN is that it represents, by generalized coordinates, the forward kinematics information (positions and velocities) of a structural object. In this manner, the geometrical constraints are implicitly and naturally encoded in the forward kinematics. Moreover, to allow equivariant message passing in GMN, we have developed a general form of orthogonality-equivariant functions, given that the dynamics of constrained systems are more complicated than the unconstrained counterparts. Theoretically, the proposed equivariant formulation is proved to be universally expressive under certain conditions. Extensive experiments support the advantages of GMN compared to the state-of-the-art GNNs in terms of prediction accuracy, constraint satisfaction and data efficiency on the simulated systems consisting of particles, sticks and hinges, as well as two real-world datasets for molecular dynamics prediction and human motion capture.
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