Predicting Natural Rubber Crystallinity by a Novel Machine Learning Algorithm Based on Molecular Dynamics Simulation Data

QH Chen and ZJ Liu and YD Huang and AW Hu and WH Huang and LQ Zhang and LH Cui and J Liu, LANGMUIR, 39, 17088-17099 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.3c01878

Natural rubber (NR) with excellent mechanical properties, mainly attributed to its strain-induced crystallization (SIC), has garnered significant scientific and technological interest. With the aid of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we can investigate the impacts of crucial structural elements on SIC on the molecular scale. Nonetheless, the computational complexity and time-consuming nature of this high- precision method constrain its widespread application. The integration of machine learning with MD represents a promising avenue for enhancing the speed of simulations while maintaining accuracy. Herein, we developed a crystallinity algorithm tailored to the SIC properties of natural rubber materials. With the data enhancement algorithm, the high evaluation value of the prediction model ensures the accuracy of the computational simulation results. In contrast to the direct utilization of small sample prediction algorithms, we propose a novel concept grounded in feature engineering. The proposed machine learning (ML) methodology consists of (1) An eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGB) model to predict the crystallinity of NR; (2) a generative adversarial network (GAN) data augmentation algorithm to optimize the utilization of the limited training data, which is utilized to construct the XGB prediction model; (3) an elaboration of the effects induced by phospholipid and protein percentage (omega), hydrogen bond strength (epsilon(H)), and non-hydrogen bond strength (epsilon(NH)) of natural rubber materials with crystallinity prediction under dynamic conditions are analyzed by employing weight integration with feature importance analysis. Eventually, we succeeded in concluding that epsilon(H) has the most significant effect on the strain-induced crystallinity, followed by omega and finally epsilon(NH).

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