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Workshop: NeurIPS 2023 Workshop: Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences

Physics-Informed Tensor Basis Neural Network for Turbulence Closure Modeling

Leon Riccius · Atul Agrawal · Phaedon S Koutsourelakis


Despite the increasing availability of high-performance computational resources, Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations remain the workhorse for the analysis of turbulent flows in real-world applications. Linear eddy viscosity models (LEVM), the most commonly employed model type, cannot accurately predict complex states of turbulence. This work combines a deep-neural-network-based, nonlinear eddy viscosity model with turbulence realizability constraints as an inductive bias in order to yield improved predictions of the anisotropy tensor. Using visualizations based on the barycentric map, we show that the proposed machine learning method's anisotropy tensor predictions offer a significant improvement over all LEVMs in traditionally challenging cases with surface curvature and flow separation. However, this improved anisotropy tensor does not, in general, yield improved mean-velocity and pressure field predictions in comparison with the best-performing LEVM.

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