Neural Symplectic Form: Learning Hamiltonian Equations on General Coordinate Systems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Yuhan Chen, Takashi Matsubara, Takaharu Yaguchi


In recent years, substantial research on the methods for learning Hamiltonian equations has been conducted. Although these approaches are very promising, the commonly used representation of the Hamilton equation uses the generalized momenta, which are generally unknown. Therefore, the training data must be represented in this unknown coordinate system, and this causes difficulty in applying the model to real data. Meanwhile, Hamiltonian equations also have a coordinate-free expression that is expressed by using the symplectic 2-form. In this study, we propose a model that learns the symplectic form from data using neural networks, thereby providing a method for learning Hamiltonian equations from data represented in general coordinate systems, which are not limited to the generalized coordinates and the generalized momenta. Consequently, the proposed method is capable not only of modeling target equations of both Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formalisms but also of extracting unknown Hamiltonian structures hidden in the data. For example, many polynomial ordinary differential equations such as the Lotka-Volterra equation are known to admit non-trivial Hamiltonian structures, and our numerical experiments show that such structures can be certainly learned from data. Technically, each symplectic 2-form is associated with a skew-symmetric matrix, but not all skew-symmetric matrices define the symplectic 2-form. In the proposed method, using the fact that symplectic 2-forms are derived as the exterior derivative of certain differential 1-forms, we model the differential 1-form by neural networks, thereby improving the efficiency of learning.