Lie Point Symmetry and Physics-Informed Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Tara Akhound-Sadegh, Laurence Perreault-Levasseur, Johannes Brandstetter, Max Welling, Siamak Ravanbakhsh


Symmetries have been leveraged to improve the generalization of neural networks through different mechanisms from data augmentation to equivariant architectures. However, despite their potential, their integration into neural solvers for partial differential equations (PDEs) remains largely unexplored. We explore the integration of PDE symmetries, known as Lie point symmetries, in a major family of neural solvers known as physics-informed neural networks (PINNs). We propose a loss function that informs the network about Lie point symmetries in the same way that PINN models try to enforce the underlying PDE through a loss function. Intuitively, our symmetry loss ensures that the infinitesimal generators of the Lie group conserve the PDE solutions.. Effectively, this means that once the network learns a solution, it also learns the neighbouring solutions generated by Lie point symmetries.Empirical evaluations indicate that the inductive bias introduced by the Lie point symmetries of the PDEs greatly boosts the sample efficiency of PINNs.