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Primeur weekly 2018-02-26

Focus

The European Processor Initiative (EPI) to develop the processor that will be at the heart of the European exascale supercomputer effort ...

Quantum computing

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future ...

Developing reliable quantum computers: International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems ...

Programming on a silicon quantum chip ...

D-Wave locks in $20 million funding and completes prototype of next-gen quantum processor ...

Focus on Europe

Luxembourg joins the European supercomputer network PRACE ...

ICEI Public Information Event on the realisation of a federated HPC and data analytics infrastructure ...

Dutch eScience and Lorentz Centers launch Call to host workshop on digitally enhanced research ...

Middleware

Adaptive Computing announces release of Moab HPC Suite 9.1.2 ...

NCSA Assistant Director Dan Katz named BSSw Fellow ...

University of Nevada, Las Vegas' supercomputing boosted through new collaboration with Altair ...

Hardware

C-DAC focusing on cancer treatment using supercomputers as a tool ...

South-Korean Ministry of Science and Technology to announce Second National High-Performance Computing Fundamental Plan ...

IBM reveals novel energy-saving optical receiver with a new record of rapid power-on/off time ...

Computers learn to learn: Intel and researchers from Heidelberg and Dresden present three new neuromorphic chips ...

HPE helps U.S. Department of Defense to advance national defense capabilities ...

OCF deploys petascale Lenovo supercomputer at University of Southampton ...

HPE reports fiscal 2018 first quarter results ...

Ranovus announces general availability of its on-board optics and CFP2 direct detect transceiver products for 5G mobility and data centre interconnect applications ...

Mellanox appoints Steve Sanghi and Umesh Padval to Board of Directors ...

Applications

Supercomputers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high colour quality ...

AI companies to reuse crypto mining farms for deep learning in health care ...

Computer scientists and materials researchers collaborate to optimize steel classification ...

Boris Kaus receives ERC Consolidator Grant for his research in magmatic processes ...

Metabolic modelling becomes three-dimensional ...

Powerful supercomputer unlocks possibilities for tinier devices and affordable DNA sequencing ...

New Berkeley Lab algorithms create "Minimalist Machine Learning" that analyzes images from very little information ...

The Cloud

Adaptive Computing makes HPC Cloud strategies more accessible with the Moab/NODUS Cloud Bursting 1.1.0 release ...

USFlash

Gen-Z Consortium announces the public release of its Core Specification 1.0 ...

Computer scientists and materials researchers collaborate to optimize steel classification


This is an image of the Atom Probe Tomography Lab of Saarland University. Credit: Oliver Dietze.
21 Feb 2018 Saarbrücken - Using machine learning techniques, computer scientists and materials scientists in Saarbrücken have now developed a method that is much more accurate and objective than conventional quality control procedures. Their results have just been published inScientific Reports, the open-access mega-journal associated with the highly respected scientific journalNature.

When scientists from two different disciplines collaborate on a research project, they first need to learn to speak the same language. "It took a fair amount of time before the computer scientists had understood why the internal structures of a material and their representation in image form play such an important role for materials scientists", stated Dominik Britz, a PhD student in the Department of Functional Materials at Saarland University. These internal structures are importance because they are very closely linked with the properties exhibited by the material. "As modern steels are being supplied in ever greater varieties and because they exhibit increasingly complex internal structures, error tolerances are becoming ever tighter. This poses a huge challenge for the engineers who develop new steels and who need to meet stringent quality requirements", added Dominik Britz.

For his research colleague Seyed Majid Azimi at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the job was first to explain to Dominik Britz how the machine learning ('deep learning') methods that he employs are able to produce significantly more accurate results than any of the image analyses conducted manually by expert materials scientists. To achieve such results, Seyed Majid Azimi feeds his high-performance computer with image data that was previously 'hand-classified' by experts. This data is used to train the computer models and these models are subsequently tested by comparing them against additional sets of human-classified image data. But how is it possible for the computer to generate such strikingly good results without having any real 'knowledge' of the materials involved?

In this particular study, which focused on classifying steel microstructures, the answer lies in understanding the steel production process. "Manufacturing special steels is an extremely complex process that depends on many individual factors including the chemical composition of the material, the rolling process used and the types of heat treatment that the material is subjected to. Every stage of the production process influences the internal structure of the steel", explained Dominik Britz. Materials scientists refer to this internal structure as the material's 'microstructure'. The microstructure is composed of 'grains', each of which is a tiny crystallite with a particular crystal structure. But neighbouring grains also differ in terms of their spatial orientation. In fact, the grains differ not only in terms of their orientation, but also in terms of their individual shapes and their spatial connectivity, resulting in microstructures of high geometrical complexity. "These extremely complex structures can be made visible during the material development and the quality control stages by taking microscopic images. Specially prepared samples are evaluated using optical and electron microscopy", explained Dominik Britz.

Classifying a material involves comparing these microscope images with reference images that exhibit a typical geometrical microstructure. Over time, experienced engineers in company quality assurance departments develop a discerning eye that enables them to decide which particular steel microstructure they are dealing with. "But even these practised experts will sometimes make an incorrect call, as the differences between the images are sometimes barely discernible with the naked eye. Although humans are pretty good at distinguishing small relative differences, we are not very good at recognizing absolute geometric standards", explained Professor Frank Muecklich, who supervised the study. Frank Muecklich is also Director of the Steinbeis Materials Engineering Center Saarland (MECS) in Saarbrücken whose staff were involved in the study.

The materials scientists were interested in finding an objective procedure that was far less prone to user error and that could be applied irrespective of the user's level of expertise. "Machine learning methods allow computers to recognize complex patterns very rapidly and to assign the geometry of the microstructures in microscope images. They can learn the features of previously classified microstructures and compare these with recognized patterns", explained Frank Muecklich. Using this approach, the research team in Saarbrücken was able to determine the microstructures of low-carbon steel at a level of accuracy that was not previously possible. 'When using our system for microstructural classification, we achieved a level of accuracy of around 93 per cent. With conventional methods, only about 50 per cent of the material samples are correctly classified", stated Frank Muecklich.

The fact that the Saarbrücken scientists have published their results inScientific Reports, the highly respected mega-journal associated with the leading scientific publicationNature, is for Professor Muecklich recognition that the collaborative project was able to link two very different research fields in such a constructive and rewarding manner. "We see this as just the beginning of a close cooperative partnership with Saarbrücken's highly respected computer science research teams. The new deep learning methods will not only help us assess the quality of steel more objectively and more accurately, we also anticipate that our results will be transferable to many other production processes and materials", explained Frank Muecklich.

The scientific study " Advanced Steel Microstructural Classification by Deep Learning Methods " has been published inNature's open-access mega-journalScientific Reports. The research team comprised Seyed Majid Azimi, a doctoral research student in computer science in the group led by Mario Fritz at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, and the materials scientists Dominik Britz, Michael Engstler and Professor Frank Muecklich from Saarland University.

Source: Saarland University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-02-26

Focus

The European Processor Initiative (EPI) to develop the processor that will be at the heart of the European exascale supercomputer effort ...

Quantum computing

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future ...

Developing reliable quantum computers: International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems ...

Programming on a silicon quantum chip ...

D-Wave locks in $20 million funding and completes prototype of next-gen quantum processor ...

Focus on Europe

Luxembourg joins the European supercomputer network PRACE ...

ICEI Public Information Event on the realisation of a federated HPC and data analytics infrastructure ...

Dutch eScience and Lorentz Centers launch Call to host workshop on digitally enhanced research ...

Middleware

Adaptive Computing announces release of Moab HPC Suite 9.1.2 ...

NCSA Assistant Director Dan Katz named BSSw Fellow ...

University of Nevada, Las Vegas' supercomputing boosted through new collaboration with Altair ...

Hardware

C-DAC focusing on cancer treatment using supercomputers as a tool ...

South-Korean Ministry of Science and Technology to announce Second National High-Performance Computing Fundamental Plan ...

IBM reveals novel energy-saving optical receiver with a new record of rapid power-on/off time ...

Computers learn to learn: Intel and researchers from Heidelberg and Dresden present three new neuromorphic chips ...

HPE helps U.S. Department of Defense to advance national defense capabilities ...

OCF deploys petascale Lenovo supercomputer at University of Southampton ...

HPE reports fiscal 2018 first quarter results ...

Ranovus announces general availability of its on-board optics and CFP2 direct detect transceiver products for 5G mobility and data centre interconnect applications ...

Mellanox appoints Steve Sanghi and Umesh Padval to Board of Directors ...

Applications

Supercomputers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high colour quality ...

AI companies to reuse crypto mining farms for deep learning in health care ...

Computer scientists and materials researchers collaborate to optimize steel classification ...

Boris Kaus receives ERC Consolidator Grant for his research in magmatic processes ...

Metabolic modelling becomes three-dimensional ...

Powerful supercomputer unlocks possibilities for tinier devices and affordable DNA sequencing ...

New Berkeley Lab algorithms create "Minimalist Machine Learning" that analyzes images from very little information ...

The Cloud

Adaptive Computing makes HPC Cloud strategies more accessible with the Moab/NODUS Cloud Bursting 1.1.0 release ...

USFlash

Gen-Z Consortium announces the public release of its Core Specification 1.0 ...