Informed Equation Learning

by   Matthias Werner, et al.

Distilling data into compact and interpretable analytic equations is one of the goals of science. Instead, contemporary supervised machine learning methods mostly produce unstructured and dense maps from input to output. Particularly in deep learning, this property is owed to the generic nature of simple standard link functions. To learn equations rather than maps, standard non-linearities can be replaced with structured building blocks of atomic functions. However, without strong priors on sparsity and structure, representational complexity and numerical conditioning limit this direct approach. To scale to realistic settings in science and engineering, we propose an informed equation learning system. It provides a way to incorporate expert knowledge about what are permitted or prohibited equation components, as well as a domain-dependent structured sparsity prior. Our system then utilizes a robust method to learn equations with atomic functions exhibiting singularities, as e.g. logarithm and division. We demonstrate several artificial and real-world experiments from the engineering domain, in which our system learns interpretable models of high predictive power.



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