Transfer learning for atomistic simulations using GNNs and kernel mean embeddings

by   John Falk, et al.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Interatomic potentials learned using machine learning methods have been successfully applied to atomistic simulations. However, deep learning pipelines are notoriously data-hungry, while generating reference calculations is computationally demanding. To overcome this difficulty, we propose a transfer learning algorithm that leverages the ability of graph neural networks (GNNs) in describing chemical environments, together with kernel mean embeddings. We extract a feature map from GNNs pre-trained on the OC20 dataset and use it to learn the potential energy surface from system-specific datasets of catalytic processes. Our method is further enhanced by a flexible kernel function that incorporates chemical species information, resulting in improved performance and interpretability. We test our approach on a series of realistic datasets of increasing complexity, showing excellent generalization and transferability performance, and improving on methods that rely on GNNs or ridge regression alone, as well as similar fine-tuning approaches. We make the code available to the community at


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