Data-driven discovery of interacting particle systems using Gaussian processes

Feng, Jinchao, Ren, Yunxiang, Tang, Sui Machine Learning 

Interacting particle or agent systems that display a rich variety of collection motions are ubiquitous in science and engineering. A fundamental and challenging goal is to understand the link between individual interaction rules and collective behaviors. In this paper, we study the data-driven discovery of distance-based interaction laws in second-order interacting particle systems. We propose a learning approach that models the latent interaction kernel functions as Gaussian processes, which can simultaneously fulfill two inference goals: one is the nonparametric inference of interaction kernel function with the pointwise uncertainty quantification, and the other one is the inference of unknown parameters in the non-collective forces of the system. We formulate learning interaction kernel functions as a statistical inverse problem and provide a detailed analysis of recoverability conditions, establishing that a coercivity condition is sufficient for recoverability. We provide a finite-sample analysis, showing that our posterior mean estimator converges at an optimal rate equal to the one in the classical 1-dimensional Kernel Ridge regression. Numerical results on systems that exhibit different collective behaviors demonstrate efficient learning of our approach from scarce noisy trajectory data.

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