Abstract

Data-driven design of mechanical metamaterials is an increasingly popular method to combat costly physical simulations and immense, often intractable, geometrical design spaces. Using a precomputed dataset of unit cells, a multiscale structure can be quickly filled via combinatorial search algorithms, and machine learning models can be trained to accelerate the process. However, the dependence on data induces a unique challenge: An imbalanced dataset containing more of certain shapes or physical properties than others can be detrimental to the efficacy of the approaches and any models built on those sets. In answer, we posit that a smaller yet diverse set of unit cells leads to scalable search and unbiased learning. To select such subsets, we propose METASET, a methodology that 1) uses similarity metrics and positive semi-definite kernels to jointly measure the closeness of unit cells in both shape and property space, and 2) incorporates Determinantal Point Processes for efficient subset selection. Moreover, METASET allows the trade-off between shape and property diversity so that subsets can be tuned for various applications. Through the design of 2D metamaterials with target displacement profiles, we demonstrate that smaller, diverse subsets can indeed improve the search process as well as structural performance. We also apply METASET to eliminate inherent overlaps in a dataset of 3D unit cells created with symmetry rules, distilling it down to the most unique families. Our diverse subsets are provided publicly for use by any designer.

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