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Prediction of in-situ strain sensing efficiency of self-sensing cementitious composites using machine learning (ML) requires a large, representative, consistent, and accurate dataset. However, such large experimental dataset is not readily available. Moreover, the success of the ML approach depends on its ability to abide by the fundamental laws of physics. To address these challenges this paper synergistically integrates a validated finite element analysis (FEA)-based multiscale simulation framework with ML to predict the strain-sensing ability of self-sensing cementitious composites enabled by incorporating nano-engineered interfaces. The multiscale simulation framework is leveraged to develop a balanced, representative, complete, and consistent dataset containing 3000 combinations of strain-dependent electromechanical responses. This large dataset is used to predict the strain-sensing ability of the nanoengineered cementitious composites using a feed-forward multilayer perceptron-based neural network (NN) approach which shows excellent prediction efficacy. This paper also applies a Shapley Additive Explanations (SHAP) algorithm to interpret the NN predictions in light of the relative importance of different design parameters on the strain-sensing ability of the composite. Overall, the synergistic and comprehensive approach presented here can be used as a starting point toward the development of reliable performance standards to accelerate the acceptance of these self-sensing cementitious composites for large-scale applications.


machine learning, neural network, Piezo-resistivity, Strain-sensing, Micromechanics, Multiscale numerical simulation




Originally published in Materials & Design, Volume 209, (2021),109995