In this paper, we present two deep learning-based hybrid data-driven reduced-order models for prediction of unsteady fluid flows. These hybrid models rely on recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to evolve low-dimensional states of unsteady fluid flow. The first model projects the high-fidelity time series data from a finite element Navier–Stokes solver to a low-dimensional subspace via proper orthogonal decomposition (POD). The time-dependent coefficients in the POD subspace are propagated by the recurrent net (closed-loop encoder–decoder updates) and mapped to a high-dimensional state via the mean flow field and the POD basis vectors. This model is referred to as POD-RNN. The second model, referred to as the convolution recurrent autoencoder network (CRAN), employs convolutional neural networks (instead of POD) as layers of linear kernels with nonlinear activations, to extract low-dimensional features from flow field snapshots. The flattened features are advanced using a recurrent (closed-loop manner) net and up-sampled (transpose convoluted) gradually to high-dimensional snapshots. Two benchmark problems of the flow past a cylinder and the flow past side-by-side cylinders are selected as the unsteady flow problems to assess the efficacy of these models. For the problem of the flow past a single cylinder, the performance of both the models is satisfactory and the CRAN model is found to be overkill. However, the CRAN model completely outperforms the POD-RNN model for a more complicated problem of the flow past side-by-side cylinders involving the complex effects of vortex-to-vortex and gap flow interactions. Owing to the scalability of the CRAN model, we introduce an observer-corrector method for calculation of integrated pressure force coefficients on the fluid–solid boundary on a reference grid. This reference grid, typically a structured and uniform grid, is used to interpolate scattered high-dimensional field data as snapshot images. These input images are convenient in training the CRAN model, which motivates us to further explore the application of the CRAN-based models for prediction of fluid flows.
In this article, we present a deep learning-based reduced order model (DL-ROM) for predicting the fluid forces and unsteady vortex shedding patterns. We consider the flow past a sphere to examine the accuracy of our DL-ROM predictions. The proposed DL-ROM methodology relies on a three-dimensional convolutional recurrent autoencoder network (3D CRAN) to extract the low-dimensional flow features from the full-order snapshots in an unsupervised manner. The low-dimensional features are evolved in time using a long short-term memory-based recurrent neural network and reconstructed back to the full-order as flow voxels. These flow voxels are introduced as static and uniform query probes in the point cloud domain to reduce the unstructured mesh complexity while providing convenience in the 3D CRAN training. We introduce a novel procedure to recover the interface description and the instantaneous force quantities from these 3D flow voxels. To evaluate the 3D flow reconstruction and inference, the 3D CRAN methodology is first applied to an external flow past a static sphere at the single Reynolds number of Re = 300. We provide an assessment of the computing requirements in terms of the memory usage, training, and testing cost of the 3D CRAN framework. Subsequently, variable Re-based flow information is infused in one 3D CRAN to learn a symmetry-breaking flow regime (280 [Formula: see text] Re [Formula: see text] 460) for the flow past a sphere. Effects of transfer learning are analyzed for training this complex 3D flow regime on a relatively smaller time series dataset. The 3D CRAN framework learns the flow regime nearly 20 times faster than the parallel full-order model and predicts this flow regime in time with a reasonable accuracy. Based on the predicted flow fields, the network demonstrates an [Formula: see text] accuracy of 98.58% for the drag and 76.43% for the lift over the sphere in this flow regime. The proposed framework aligns with the development of a digital twin for 3D unsteady flow field and instantaneous force predictions with variable Re-based effects.
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