HomPINNs: Homotopy physics-informed neural networks for learning multiple solutions of nonlinear elliptic differential equations

Yao Huang, Wenrui Hao, Guang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Physics-informed neural networks (PINNs) based machine learning is an emerging framework for solving nonlinear differential equations. However, due to the implicit regularity of neural network structure, PINNs can only find the flattest solution in most cases by minimizing the loss functions. In this paper, we combine PINNs with the homotopy continuation method, a classical numerical method to compute isolated roots of polynomial systems, and propose a new deep learning framework, named homotopy physics-informed neural networks (HomPINNs), for solving multiple solutions of nonlinear elliptic differential equations. The implementation of an HomPINN is a homotopy process that is composed of the training of a fully connected neural network, named the starting neural network, and training processes of several PINNs with different tracking parameters. The starting neural network is to approximate a starting function constructed by the trivial solutions, while other PINNs are to minimize the loss functions defined by boundary condition and homotopy functions, varying with different tracking parameters. These training processes are regraded as different steps of a homotopy process, and a PINN is initialized by the well-trained neural network of the previous step, while the first starting neural network is initialized using the default initialization method. Several numerical examples are presented to show the efficiency of our proposed HomPINNs, including reaction-diffusion equations with a heart-shaped domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Mathematics with Applications
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


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