Keywords: inductive bias, probabilistic generative models, state-space models, model order reduction, slowness, long-term stability
Abstract: Given (small amounts of) time-series' data from a high-dimensional, fine-grained, multiscale dynamical system, we propose a generative framework for learning an effective, lower-dimensional, coarse-grained dynamical model that is predictive of the fine-grained system's long-term evolution but also of its behavior under different initial conditions. We target fine-grained models as they arise in physical applications (e.g. molecular dynamics, agent-based models), the dynamics of which are strongly non-stationary but their transition to equilibrium is governed by unknown slow processes which are largely inaccessible by brute-force simulations. Approaches based on domain knowledge heavily rely on physical insight in identifying temporally slow features and fail to enforce the long-term stability of the learned dynamics. On the other hand, purely statistical frameworks lack interpretability and rely on large amounts of expensive simulation data (long and multiple trajectories) as they cannot infuse domain knowledge. The generative framework proposed achieves the aforementioned desiderata by employing a flexible prior on the complex plane for the latent, slow processes, and an intermediate layer of physics-motivated latent variables that reduces reliance on data and imbues inductive bias. In contrast to existing schemes, it does not require the a priori definition of projection operators from the fine-grained description and addresses simultaneously the tasks of dimensionality reduction and model estimation. We demonstrate its efficacy and accuracy in multiscale physical systems of particle dynamics where probabilistic, long-term predictions of phenomena not contained in the training data are produced.
One-sentence Summary: We propose a novel physics-aware, generative, probabilistic state-space model for learning an effective, lower-dimensional description that can produce long-term predictions.
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