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Digital Fingerprinting of Microstructures

by   Michael D. White, et al.
The University of Manchester

Finding efficient means of fingerprinting microstructural information is a critical step towards harnessing data-centric machine learning approaches. A statistical framework is systematically developed for compressed characterisation of a population of images, which includes some classical computer vision methods as special cases. The focus is on materials microstructure. The ultimate purpose is to rapidly fingerprint sample images in the context of various high-throughput design/make/test scenarios. This includes, but is not limited to, quantification of the disparity between microstructures for quality control, classifying microstructures, predicting materials properties from image data and identifying potential processing routes to engineer new materials with specific properties. Here, we consider microstructure classification and utilise the resulting features over a range of related machine learning tasks, namely supervised, semi-supervised, and unsupervised learning. The approach is applied to two distinct datasets to illustrate various aspects and some recommendations are made based on the findings. In particular, methods that leverage transfer learning with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), pretrained on the ImageNet dataset, are generally shown to outperform other methods. Additionally, dimensionality reduction of these CNN-based fingerprints is shown to have negligible impact on classification accuracy for the supervised learning approaches considered. In situations where there is a large dataset with only a handful of images labelled, graph-based label propagation to unlabelled data is shown to be favourable over discarding unlabelled data and performing supervised learning. In particular, label propagation by Poisson learning is shown to be highly effective at low label rates.


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