Solving High Frequency and Multi-Scale PDEs with Gaussian Processes


Machine learning based solvers have garnered much attention in physical simulation and scientific computing, with a prominent example, physics-informed neural networks (PINNs). However, PINNs often struggle to solve high-frequency and multi-scale PDEs, which can be due to spectral bias during neural network training. To address this problem, we resort to the Gaussian process (GP) framework. To flexibly capture the dominant frequencies, we model the power spectrum of the PDE solution with a student t mixture or Gaussian mixture. We then apply the inverse Fourier transform to obtain the covariance function (according to the Wiener-Khinchin theorem). The covariance derived from the Gaussian mixture spectrum corresponds to the known spectral mixture kernel. We are the first to discover its rationale and effectiveness for PDE solving. Next,we estimate the mixture weights in the log domain, which we show is equivalent to placing a Jeffreys prior. It automatically induces sparsity, prunes excessive frequencies, and adjusts the remaining toward the ground truth. Third, to enable efficient and scalable computation on massive collocation points, which are critical to capture high frequencies, we place the collocation points on a grid, and multiply our covariance function at each input dimension. We use the GP conditional mean to predict the solution and its derivatives so as to fit the boundary condition and the equation itself. As a result, we can derive a Kronecker product structure in the covariance matrix. We use Kronecker product properties and multilinear algebra to greatly promote computational efficiency and scalability, without any low-rank approximations. We show the advantage of our method in systematic experiments.

In Twelfth International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR 2024)