Physics-enhanced Gaussian Process Variational Autoencoder
Proceedings of The 5th Annual Learning for Dynamics and Control Conference, PMLR 211:521-533, 2023.
Variational autoencoders allow to learn a lower-dimensional latent space based on high-dimensional input/output data. Using video clips as input data, the encoder may be used to describe the movement of an object in the video without ground truth data (unsupervised learning). Even though the object’s dynamics is typically based on first principles, this prior knowledge is mostly ignored in the existing literature. Thus, we propose a physics-enhanced variational autoencoder that places a physical-enhanced Gaussian process prior on the latent dynamics to improve the efficiency of the variational autoencoder and to allow physically correct predictions. The physical prior knowledge expressed as linear dynamical system is here reflected by the Green’s function and included in the kernel function of the Gaussian process. The benefits of the proposed approach are highlighted in a simulation with an oscillating particle.