EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 438, Number 3, August II 2005
Page(s) 1021 - 1028
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20052865

A&A 438, 1021-1028 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20052865

An artificial neural network approach to the solution of molecular chemical equilibrium

A. Asensio Ramos1 and H. Socas-Navarro2

1  Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125 Florence, Italy
    e-mail: aasensio@arcetri.astro.it
2  High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, 3450 Mitchell Ln, Boulder CO 80307-3000, USA

(Received 11 February 2005 / Accepted 19 April 2005)

A novel approach is presented for the solution of instantaneous chemical equilibrium problems. The chemical equilibrium can be considered, due to its intrinsically local character, as a mapping of the three-dimensional parameter space spanned by the temperature, hydrogen density and electron density into many one-dimensional spaces representing the number density of each species. We take advantage of the ability of artificial neural networks to approximate non-linear functions and construct neural networks for the fast and efficient solution of the chemical equilibrium problem in typical stellar atmosphere physical conditions. The neural network approach has the advantage of providing an analytic function, which can be rapidly evaluated. The networks are trained with a learning set (that covers the entire parameter space) until a relative error below 1% is reached. It has been verified that the networks are not overtrained by using an additional verification set. The networks are then applied to a snapshot of realistic three-dimensional convection simulations of the solar atmosphere showing good generalization properties.

Key words: molecular processes -- astrochemistry -- methods: numerical

© ESO 2005