Finite element method-enhanced neural network for forward and inverse problems

Rishith E. Meethal, Anoop Kodakkal, Mohamed Khalil, Aditya Ghantasala, Birgit Obst, Kai Uwe Bletzinger, Roland Wüchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We introduce a novel hybrid methodology that combines classical finite element methods (FEM) with neural networks to create a well-performing and generalizable surrogate model for forward and inverse problems. The residual from finite element methods and custom loss functions from neural networks are merged to form the algorithm. The Finite Element Method-enhanced Neural Network hybrid model (FEM-NN hybrid) is data-efficient and physics-conforming. The proposed methodology can be used for surrogate models in real-time simulation, uncertainty quantification, and optimization in the case of forward problems. It can be used to update models for inverse problems. The method is demonstrated with examples and the accuracy of the results and performance is compared to the conventional way of network training and the classical finite element method. An application of the forward-solving algorithm is demonstrated for the uncertainty quantification of wind effects on a high-rise buildings. The inverse algorithm is demonstrated in the speed-dependent bearing coefficient identification of fluid bearings. Hybrid methodology of this kind will serve as a paradigm shift in the simulation methods currently used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • FEM-based neural network
  • Hybrid models
  • Informed machine learning
  • Self-supervised learning


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