Convolutional neural network based hierarchical autoencoder for nonlinear mode decomposition of fluid field data

Kai Fukami, Taichi Nakamura, Koji Fukagata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a customized convolutional neural network based autoencoder called a hierarchical autoencoder, which allows us to extract nonlinear autoencoder modes of flow fields while preserving the contribution order of the latent vectors. As preliminary tests, the proposed method is first applied to a cylinder wake at ReD = 100 and its transient process. It is found that the proposed method can extract the features of these laminar flow fields as the latent vectors while keeping the order of their energy content. The present hierarchical autoencoder is further assessed with a two-dimensional y-z cross-sectional velocity field of turbulent channel flow at Reτ = 180 in order to examine its applicability to turbulent flows. It is demonstrated that the turbulent flow field can be efficiently mapped into the latent space by utilizing the hierarchical model with a concept of an ordered autoencoder mode family. The present results suggest that the proposed concept can be extended to meet various demands in fluid dynamics including reduced order modeling and its combination with linear theory-based methods by using its ability to arrange the order of the extracted nonlinear modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095110-1
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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