Deep Operator Network (DeepONet), a recently introduced deep learning operator network, approximates linear and nonlinear solution operators by taking parametric functions (infinite-dimensional objects) as inputs and mapping them to solution functions in contrast to classical neural networks that need re-training for every new set of parametric inputs. In this work, we have extended the classical formulation of DeepONets by introducing sequential learning models like the gated recurrent unit (GRU) and long short-term memory (LSTM) in the branch network to allow for accurate predictions of the solution contour plots under parametric and time-dependent loading histories, known as Sequential DeepONets (S-DeepONets). Two example problems, one on transient heat transfer and the other on path-dependent plastic loading, were shown to demonstrate the capabilities of the new architectures compared to the benchmark DeepONet model with a feed-forward neural network (FNN) in the branch. Despite being more computationally expensive, the GRU- and LSTM-DeepONets lowered the prediction error by half (0.06% vs. 0.12%) compared to FNN-DeepONet in the heat transfer problem, and by 2.5 times (0.85% vs. 3%) in the plasticity problem. In all cases, the proposed DeepONets achieved a prediction R2 value of above 0.995, indicating superior accuracy. Results show that once trained, the proposed S-DeepONets can accurately predict the final full-field solution over the entire domain and are at least two orders of magnitude faster than direct finite element simulations, rendering it an accurate and robust surrogate model for rapid preliminary evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107258
JournalEngineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Deep Operator Network (DeepONet)
  • Gated recurrent unit (GRU)
  • Long short-term memory (LSTM)
  • Machine/deep learning
  • Plastic deformation
  • Transient heat transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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