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On the generalizability of artificial neural networks in spin models

Hon Man Yau, Nan Su

SciPost Phys. Core 5, 032 (2022) · published 8 June 2022


The applicability of artificial neural networks (ANNs) is typically limited to the models they are trained with and little is known about their generalizability, which is a pressing issue in the practical application of trained ANNs to unseen problems. Here, by using the task of identifying phase transitions in spin models, we establish a systematic generalizability such that simple ANNs trained with the two-dimensional ferromagnetic Ising model can be applied to the ferromagnetic q-state Potts model in different dimensions for q>=2. The same scheme can be applied to the highly nontrivial antiferromagnetic q-state Potts model. We demonstrate that similar results can be obtained by reducing the exponentially large state space spanned by the training data to one that comprises only three representative configurations artificially constructed through symmetry considerations. We expect our findings to simplify and accelerate the development of machine learning-assisted tasks in spin-model related disciplines in physics and materials science.

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