Physics-Informed Graph Neural Networks for Predicting Cetane Number with Systematic Data Quality Analysis

Yeonjoon Kim, Jaeyoung Cho, Nimal Naser, Sabari Kumar, Keunhong Jeong, Robert McCormick, Peter St. John, Seonah Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


Designing alternative fuels for advanced compression ignition engines necessitates a predictive model for cetane number (CN). In this study, the physics-informed graph neural networks are introduced for a reliable CN prediction by considering molecular features pertinent to the physical properties of molecules that affect CN. The reliability of measured data is another key factor to consider for improving the predictive model. Various experimental instruments for measuring CN exist, including standard and non-standard methods. In this regard, a systematic data quality analysis was carried out for the total 630 CNs collected from literature and new measurements in this study using Advanced Fuel Ignition Delay Analyzer (AFIDA). The results from this data curation process were reflected in the model by imposing lower sample weights on the data coming from less reliable measurement techniques. This approach effectively maximized the prediction accuracy while incorporating data from all available sources. Using the sample weights decreased the mean absolute error (MAE) up to 0.8 CN units. The accuracy was also improved by introducing the CN-related physical properties (the number of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors); the test set MAE is 5.74 and 7.01 for the model with and without such properties, respectively. Investigating molecular structural effects on CN was also carried out to gain chemical insights into factors used to design new fuel candidates. The dimensionality reduction analysis of feature vectors showed a clear clustering in terms of functional groups and CN and the structural effect derived from the model was consistent with the physicochemical insights. This physics-informed model and data curation would be helpful for accurate CN prediction and inform rational fuel design.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4969-4978
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-81974


  • Cetane number
  • Data curation
  • Graph neural network
  • Machine learning


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