Physics-informed machine learning for solving partial differential equations in porous media

Liqun Shan, Chengqian Liu, Yanchang Liu, Yazhou Tu, Linyu Dong, Xiali Hei

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Physical phenomenon in nature is generally simulated by partial differential equations. Among different sorts of partial differential equations, the problem of two-phase flow in porous media has been paid intense attention. As a promising direction, physics-informed neural networks shed new light on the solution of partial differential equations. However, current physics-informed neural networks’ ability to learn partial differential equations relies on adding artificial diffusion or using prior knowledge to increase the number of training points along the shock trajectory, or adaptive activation functions. To address these issues, this study proposes a physics-informed neural network with long short-term memory and attention mechanism, an ingenious method to solve the Buckley-Leverett partial differential equations representing two-phase flow in porous media. The designed network structure overcomes the dependency on artificial diffusion terms and enhances the importance of shallow features. The experimental results show that the proposed method is in good agreement with analytical solutions. Accurate approximations are shown even when encountering shock points in saturated fields of porous media. Furthermore, experiments show our innovative method outperforms existing traditional physics-informed machine learning approaches.

Document Type: Original article

Cited as: Shan, L., Liu, C., Liu, Y., Tu, Y., Dong, L., Hei, X. Physics-informed machine learning for solving partial differential equations in porous media. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2023, 8(1): 37-44.


Porous media, two-phase flow, Buckley-Leverett equation, physics-informed neural networks, recurrent neural network, attention mechanism

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