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Swarm Reinforcement Learning for Adaptive Mesh Refinement

Niklas Freymuth · Philipp Dahlinger · Tobias Würth · Simon Reisch · Luise Kärger · Gerhard Neumann

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #424


The Finite Element Method, an important technique in engineering, is aided by Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR), which dynamically refines mesh regions to allow for a favorable trade-off between computational speed and simulation accuracy. Classical methods for AMR depend on task-specific heuristics or expensive error estimators, hindering their use for complex simulations. Recent learned AMR methods tackle these problems, but so far scale only to simple toy examples. We formulate AMR as a novel Adaptive Swarm Markov Decision Process in which a mesh is modeled as a system of simple collaborating agents that may split into multiple new agents. This framework allows for a spatial reward formulation that simplifies the credit assignment problem, which we combine with Message Passing Networks to propagate information between neighboring mesh elements. We experimentally validate the effectiveness of our approach, Adaptive Swarm Mesh Refinement (ASMR), showing that it learns reliable, scalable, and efficient refinement strategies on a set of challenging problems. Our approach significantly speeds up computation, achieving up to 30-fold improvement compared to uniform refinements in complex simulations. Additionally, we outperform learned baselines and achieve a refinement quality that is on par with a traditional error-based AMR strategy without expensive oracle information about the error signal.

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