Modulus prediction of buckypaper based on multi-fidelity analysis involving latent variables
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Buckypapers are thin sheets produced from Carbon NanoTubes (CNTs) that effectively transfer the exceptional mechanical properties of CNTs to bulk materials. To accomplish a sensible tradeoff between effectiveness and efficiency in predicting the mechanical properties of CNT buckypapers, a multi-fidelity analysis appears necessary, combining costly but high-fidelity physical experiment outputs with affordable but low-fidelity Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-based simulation responses. Unlike the existing multi-fidelity analysis reported in the literature, not all of the input variables in the FEA simulation code are observable in the physical experiments; the unobservable ones are the latent variables in our multi-fidelity analysis. This article presents a formulation for multi-fidelity analysis problems involving latent variables and further develops a solution procedure based on nonlinear optimization. In a broad sense, this latent variable-involved multi-fidelity analysis falls under the category of non-isometric matching problems. The performance of the proposed method is compared with both a single-fidelity analysis and the existing multi-fidelity analysis without considering latent variables, and the superiority of the new method is demonstrated, especially when we perform extrapolation.