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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Modeling electric double layer (EDL) capacitance with physics-informed Gaussian process regression (PhysGPR) avoids unphysical predictions that might be encountered in conventional machine learning methods.

     
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  3. The ability of cells to reorganize in response to external stimuli is important in areas ranging from morphogenesis to tissue engineering. While nematic order is common in biological tissues, it typically only extends to small regions of cells interacting via steric repulsion. On isotropic substrates, elongated cells can co-align due to steric effects, forming ordered but randomly oriented finite-size domains. However, we have discovered that flat substrates with nematic order can induce global nematic alignment of dense, spindle-like cells, thereby influencing cell organization and collective motion and driving alignment on the scale of the entire tissue. Remarkably, single cells are not sensitive to the substrate’s anisotropy. Rather, the emergence of global nematic order is a collective phenomenon that requires both steric effects and molecular-scale anisotropy of the substrate. To quantify the rich set of behaviours afforded by this system, we analyse velocity, positional and orientational correlations for several thousand cells over days. The establishment of global order is facilitated by enhanced cell division along the substrate’s nematic axis, and associated extensile stresses that restructure the cells’ actomyosin networks. Our work provides a new understanding of the dynamics of cellular remodelling and organization among weakly interacting cells.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. A statistical emulator can be used as a surrogate of complex physics-based calculations to drastically reduce the computational cost. Its successful implementation hinges on an accurate representation of the nonlinear response surface with a high-dimensional input space. Conventional “space-filling” designs, including random sampling and Latin hypercube sampling, become inefficient as the dimensionality of the input variables increases, and the predictive accuracy of the emulator can degrade substantially for a test input distant from the training input set. To address this fundamental challenge, we develop a reliable emulator for predicting complex functionals by active learning with error control (ALEC). The algorithm is applicable to infinite-dimensional mapping with high-fidelity predictions and a controlled predictive error. The computational efficiency has been demonstrated by emulating the classical density functional theory (cDFT) calculations, a statistical-mechanical method widely used in modeling the equilibrium properties of complex molecular systems. We show that ALEC is much more accurate than conventional emulators based on the Gaussian processes with “space-filling” designs and alternative active learning methods. In addition, it is computationally more efficient than direct cDFT calculations. ALEC can be a reliable building block for emulating expensive functionals owing to its minimal computational cost, controllable predictive error, and fully automatic features. 
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  5. Marginalization of latent variables or nuisance parameters is a fundamental aspect of Bayesian inference and uncertainty quantification. In this work, we focus on scalable marginalization of latent variables in modeling correlated data, such as spatio-temporal or functional observations. We first introduce Gaussian processes (GPs) for modeling correlated data and highlight the computational challenge, where the computational complexity increases cubically fast along with the number of observations. We then review the connection between the state space model and GPs with Matérn covariance for temporal inputs. The Kalman filter and Rauch-Tung-Striebel smoother were introduced as a scalable marginalization technique for computing the likelihood and making predictions of GPs without approximation. We introduce recent efforts on extending the scalable marginalization idea to the linear model of coregionalization for multivariate correlated output and spatio-temporal observations. In the final part of this work, we introduce a novel marginalization technique to estimate interaction kernels and forecast particle trajectories. The computational progress lies in the sparse representation of the inverse covariance matrix of the latent variables, then applying conjugate gradient for improving predictive accuracy with large data sets. The computational advances achieved in this work outline a wide range of applications in molecular dynamic simulation, cellular migration, and agent-based models. 
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  6. Gaussian process (GP) emulator has been used as a surrogate model for predicting force field and molecular potential, to overcome the computational bottleneck of ab initio molecular dynamics simulation. Integrating both atomic force and energy in predictions was found to be more accurate than using energy alone, yet it requires O(( NM) 3 ) computational operations for computing the likelihood function and making predictions, where N is the number of atoms and M is the number of simulated configurations in the training sample due to the inversion of a large covariance matrix. The high computational cost limits its applications to the simulation of small molecules. The computational challenge of using both gradient information and function values in GPs was recently noticed in machine learning communities, whereas conventional approximation methods may not work well. Here, we introduce a new approach, the atomized force field model, that integrates both force and energy in the emulator with many fewer computational operations. The drastic reduction in computation is achieved by utilizing the naturally sparse covariance structure that satisfies the constraints of the energy conservation and permutation symmetry of atoms. The efficient machine learning algorithm extends the limits of its applications on larger molecules under the same computational budget, with nearly no loss of predictive accuracy. Furthermore, our approach contains an uncertainty assessment of predictions of atomic forces and energies, useful for developing a sequential design over the chemical input space. 
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  7. Evolution of composition, rheology, and morphology during phase separation in complex fluids is highly coupled to rheological and mass transport processes within the emerging phases, and understanding this coupling is critical for materials design of multiphase complex fluids. Characterizing these dependencies typically requires careful measurement of a large number of equilibrium and transport properties that are difficult to measure in situ as phase separation proceeds. Here, we propose and demonstrate a high-throughput microscopy platform to achieve simultaneous, in situ mapping of time-evolving morphology and microrheology in phase separating complex fluids over a large compositional space. The method was applied to a canonical example of polyelectrolyte complex coacervation, whereby mixing of oppositely charged species leads to liquid–liquid phase separation into distinct solute-dense and dilute phases. Morphology and rheology were measured simultaneously and kinetically after mixing to track the progression of phase separation. Once equilibrated, the dense phase viscosity was determined to high compositional accuracy using passive probe microrheology, and the results were used to derive empirical relationships between the composition and viscosity. These relationships were inverted to reconstruct the dense phase boundary itself, and further extended to other mixture compositions. The resulting predictions were validated by independent equilibrium compositional measurements. This platform paves the way for rapid screening and formulation of complex fluids and (bio)macromolecular materials, and serves as a critical link between formulation and rheology for multi-phase material discovery. 
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