Toward automatic generation of control structures for process flow diagrams with large language models


Developing Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) is a crucial step during process development. We propose a data-driven method for the prediction of control structures. Our methodology is inspired by end-to-end transformer-based human language translation models. We cast the control structure prediction as a translation task where Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs) without control structures are translated to PFDs with control structures. We represent the topology of PFDs as strings using the SFILES 2.0 notation. We pretrain our model using generated PFDs to learn the grammatical structure. Thereafter, the model is fine-tuned leveraging transfer learning on real PFDs. The model achieved a top-5 accuracy of 74.8% on 10,000 generated PFDs and 89.2% on 100,000 generated PFDs. These promising results show great potential for AI-assisted process engineering. The tests on a dataset of 312 real PFDs indicate the need for a larger PFD dataset for industry applications and hybrid artificial intelligence solutions.

AICHE Journal