BelNet: basis enhanced learning, a mesh-free neural operator, Zecheng Zhang, Leung Wing Tat, Hayden Schaeffer. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences(2023)


Operator learning trains a neural network to map functions to functions. An ideal operator learning framework should be mesh-free in the sense that the training does not require a particular choice of discretization for the input functions, allows for the input and output functions to be on different domains, and is able to have different grids between samples. We propose a mesh-free neural operator for solving parametric partial differential equations. The basis enhanced learning network (BelNet) projects the input function into a latent space and reconstructs the output functions. In particular, we construct part of the network to learn the ‘basis’ functions in the training process. This generalized the networks proposed in Chen & Chen (Chen and Chen 1995 IEEE Trans. Neural Netw. 49, 911–917. (doi:10.1109/72.392253) and 6, 904–910. (doi:10.1109/IJCNN.1993.716815)) to account for differences in input and output meshes. Through several challenging high-contrast and multiscale problems, we show that our approach outperforms other operator learning methods for these tasks and allows for more freedom in the sampling and/or discretization process.