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  1. Abstract

    Inspired by the recent achievements of machine learning in diverse domains, data-driven metamaterials design has emerged as a compelling paradigm that can unlock the potential of multiscale architectures. The model-centric research trend, however, lacks principled frameworks dedicated to data acquisition, whose quality propagates into the downstream tasks. Often built by naive space-filling design in shape descriptor space, metamaterial datasets suffer from property distributions that are either highly imbalanced or at odds with design tasks of interest. To this end, we present t-METASET: an active learning-based data acquisition framework aiming to guide both diverse and task-aware data generation. Distinctly, we seek a solution to a commonplace yet frequently overlooked scenario at early stages of data-driven design of metamaterials: when a massive (∼O(104)) shape-only library has been prepared with no properties evaluated. The key idea is to harness a data-driven shape descriptor learned from generative models, fit a sparse regressor as a start-up agent, and leverage metrics related to diversity to drive data acquisition to areas that help designers fulfill design goals. We validate the proposed framework in three deployment cases, which encompass general use, task-specific use, and tailorable use. Two large-scale mechanical metamaterial datasets are used to demonstrate the efficacy. Applicable to general image-based design representations, t-METASET could boost future advancements in data-driven design.

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  2. Mechanical cloaks are materials engineered to manipulate the elastic response around objects to make them indistinguishable from their homogeneous surroundings. Typically, methods based on material-parameter transformations are used to design optical, thermal, and electric cloaks. However, they are not applicable in designing mechanical cloaks, since continuum-mechanics equations are not form invariant under general coordinate transformations. As a result, existing design methods for mechanical cloaks have so far been limited to a narrow selection of voids with simple shapes. To address this challenge, we present a systematic, data-driven design approach to create mechanical cloaks composed of aperiodic metamaterials using a large precomputed unit cell database. Our method is flexible to allow the design of cloaks with various boundary conditions, multiple loadings, different shapes and numbers of voids, and different homogeneous surroundings. It enables a concurrent optimization of both topology and properties distribution of the cloak. Compared to conventional fixed-shape solutions, this results in an overall better cloaking performance and offers unparalleled versatility. Experimental measurements on additively manufactured structures further confirm the validity of the proposed approach. Our research illustrates the benefits of data-driven approaches in quickly responding to new design scenarios and resolving the computational challenge associated with multiscale designs of functional structures. It could be generalized to accommodate other applications that require heterogeneous property distribution, such as soft robots and implants design. 
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  3. Paper received the best paper award in the 48th ASME Design Automation Conference. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    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 can be detrimental to the efficacy of data-driven approaches. 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 spaces 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. By eliminating inherent overlaps in a dataset of 3D unit cells created with symmetry rules, we also illustrate that our flexible method can distill unique subsets regardless of the metric employed. Our diverse subsets are provided publicly for use by any designer. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The data-driven approach is emerging as a promising method for the topological design of multiscale structures with greater efficiency. However, existing data-driven methods mostly focus on a single class of microstructures without considering multiple classes to accommodate spatially varying desired properties. The key challenge is the lack of an inherent ordering or “distance” measure between different classes of microstructures in meeting a range of properties. To overcome this hurdle, we extend the newly developed latent-variable Gaussian process (LVGP) models to create multi-response LVGP (MR-LVGP) models for the microstructure libraries of metamaterials, taking both qualitative microstructure concepts and quantitative microstructure design variables as mixed-variable inputs. The MR-LVGP model embeds the mixed variables into a continuous design space based on their collective effects on the responses, providing substantial insights into the interplay between different geometrical classes and material parameters of microstructures. With this model, we can easily obtain a continuous and differentiable transition between different microstructure concepts that can render gradient information for multiscale topology optimization. We demonstrate its benefits through multiscale topology optimization with aperiodic microstructures. Design examples reveal that considering multiclass microstructures can lead to improved performance due to the consistent load-transfer paths for micro- and macro-structures. 
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