Training machine learning tools such as neural networks requires the availability of sizable data, which can be difficult for engineering and scientific applications where experiments or simulations are expensive. In this work, a novel multi-fidelity physics-constrained neural network is proposed to reduce the required amount of training data, where physical knowledge is applied to constrain neural networks, and multi-fidelity networks are constructed to improve training efficiency. A low-cost low-fidelity physics-constrained neural network is used as the baseline model, whereas a limited amount of data from a high-fidelity simulation is used to train a second neural network to predict the difference between the two models. The proposed framework is demonstrated with two-dimensional heat transfer and phase transition problems, which are fundamental in materials modeling. Physics is described by partial differential equations. With the same set of training data, the prediction error of physics-constrained neural network can be one order of magnitude lower than that of a classical artificial neural network without physical constraints. The accuracy of the prediction is comparable to those from direct numerical solutions of equations.

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