Towards complex dynamic physics system simulation with graph neural ordinary equations

Guangsi Shi, Daokun Zhang, Ming Jin, Shirui Pan, Philip S. Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The great learning ability of deep learning facilitates us to comprehend the real physical world, making learning to simulate complicated particle systems a promising endeavour both in academia and industry. However, the complex laws of the physical world pose significant challenges to the learning based simulations, such as the varying spatial dependencies between interacting particles and varying temporal dependencies between particle system states in different time stamps, which dominate particles’ interacting behavior and the physical systems’ evolution patterns. Existing learning based methods fail to fully account for the complexities, making them unable to yield satisfactory simulations. To better comprehend the complex physical laws, we propose a novel model – Graph Networks with Spatial–Temporal neural Ordinary Differential Equations (GNSTODE) – that characterizes the varying spatial and temporal dependencies in particle systems using a united end-to-end framework. Through training with real-world particle–particle interaction observations, GNSTODE can simulate any possible particle systems with high precisions. We empirically evaluate GNSTODE's simulation performance on two real-world particle systems, Gravity and Coulomb, with varying levels of spatial and temporal dependencies. The results show that GNSTODE yields better simulations than state-of-the-art methods, showing that GNSTODE can serve as an effective tool for particle simulation in real-world applications. Our code is made available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number106341
JournalNeural Networks
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • AI for physics science
  • Graph neural networks
  • Learning-based simulator
  • Neural Ordinary Differential Equations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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