The prediction of dynamical quantities in granular avalanches based on graph neural networks

L Zhang and JF Chen and H Zhang and D Huang, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 214901 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0172022

The study of granular avalanches in rotating drums is not only essential to understanding various complex behaviors of interest in granular media from a scientific perspective; it also has valuable applications in regard to industrial processes and geological catastrophes. Despite decades of research studies on avalanches, a proper understanding of their dynamic properties still remains a great challenge to scientists due to a lack of state-of-the-art techniques. In this study, we accurately predict the avalanche dynamic features of three-dimensional granular materials in rotating drums, by using graph neural networks on the basis of their initial static microstructures alone. We find that our method is robust to changes in various model parameters, such as the interaction potential, size polydispersity, and noise in particle coordinates. In addition, with the grain-scale velocities obtained either from our network or from numerical simulations, we find an approximately equal and strong correlation between the global velocity and global velocity fluctuation in our 3D granular avalanche systems, which further demonstrates the predictive power of our trained graph neural networks to uncover the fundamental physics of granular avalanches. We expect our method to provide more insight into the avalanche dynamics of granular materials and other amorphous systems in the future.

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