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Workshop: AI for Earth and Space Science

Dissipative Hamiltonian Neural Networks: Learning Dissipative and Conservative Dynamics Separately

Samuel Greydanus


Understanding natural symmetries is key to making sense of our complex and ever-changing world. Recent work has shown that neural networks can learn such symmetries directly from data using Hamiltonian Neural Networks (HNNs). But HNNs struggle when trained on datasets where energy is not conserved. In this paper, we ask whether it is possible to identify and decompose conservative and dissipative dynamics simultaneously. We propose Dissipative Hamiltonian Neural Networks (D-HNNs), which parameterize both a Hamiltonian and a Rayleigh dissipation function. Taken together, they represent an implicit Helmholtz decomposition which can separate dissipative effects such as friction from symmetries such as conservation of energy. We train our model to decompose a damped mass-spring system. Then we apply it to two real-world datasets including a large ocean current dataset where decomposing the velocity field yields scientific insights.

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