In this paper, an end-to-end nonlinear model reduction methodology is presented based on the convolutional recurrent autoencoder networks. The methodology is developed in the context of overall data-driven reduced order model framework proposed in the paper. The basic idea behind the methodology is to obtain the low dimensional representations via convolutional neural networks and evolve these low dimensional features via recurrent neural networks in time domain. The high dimensional representations are constructed from the evolved low dimensional features via transpose convolutional neural networks. With an unsupervised training strategy, the model serves as an end to end tool which can evolve the flow state of the nonlinear dynamical system. The convolutional recurrent autoencoder network model is applied on the problem of flow past bluff bodies for the first time. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the methodology, two canonical problems namely the flow past plain cylinder and the flow past side-by-side cylinders are explored in this paper. Pressure and velocity fields of the unsteady flow are predicted in future via the convolutional recurrent autoencoder model. The performance of the model is satisfactory for both the problems. Specifically, the multiscale nature and the gap flow dynamics of the side-by-side cylinders are captured by the proposed data-driven model reduction methodology. The error metrics, the normalized squared error and the normalized reconstruction error are considered for the assessment of the data-driven framework.

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