Granular flow is a phenomenon widely presented in both the natural and engineering fields. Here granular materials could be either solid particles, e.g. rocks, soil, and grains, or liquid particles, e.g. mud and fresh concrete mortar. Soil landslides, particle transport, and grain accumulation have been edge-cutting hot research topics. Discrete Element Method (DEM) has been regarded as one of the most important methods to simulate granular flows and to investigate discontinuous and large deformation problems. The basic principle of DEM was to view the simulated object as consisting of discrete particles, to define specific constitutive relationships for the particles, and to study the macroscopic properties of the simulated object from a microscopic perspective based on the interactions between particles. However, DEM simulations usually consume very high computational cost for particle contact searching and detection. To accelerate the computational process of discrete element simulation, the Graph Neural Network (GNN) based deep learning model was proposed in this paper. In GNNs, graph nodes and graph edges represent the particles and their interactions. The training and testing datasets were generated using an open-source software named YADE, while the neural network model was constructed using PyTorch and Deep Graph Library (DGL). Replacing the direct calculation of particle collisions in DEM with the trained neural network model, the state of the particles at the next moment could be predicted based on the current state of the particles. It significantly increased computational speed. The proposed technique was applied in various examples, such as drum rotation and hopper stacking, and its accuracy had been verified. This study established a solid foundation and provided robust support for further research and applications of granular flow simulation based on GNN

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Published on 01/07/24
Accepted on 01/07/24
Submitted on 01/07/24

Volume Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, 2024
DOI: 10.23967/wccm.2024.123
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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