Estribec: Fast, Precise Estimation of Stribeck Curves in Tribology

18 January 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Tribology is the study on friction, wear and lubrication for contacting and moving two solid materials with fluid lubricants. Friction can be found easily in our life and should be reduced, and lubricants are a powerful answer for this purpose. The mechanism behind friction and lubrication has been primarily analyzed by the Stribeck curve, which should be 1) interpretable, 2) non-homogeneous in variances and 3) a mixture of Stribeck curves further. We propose a machine learning approach, Estribec, to estimate the Stribeck curves from observed data in tribology. Estribec is, considering all above three characteristics, a finite mixture model, with a component of a piecewise function, where each piece is a comprehensible simple (primarily, linear) function with a unique variance. Entirely our method keeps linear time complexity for all processes, including parameter estimation and prediction. Empirical results with synthetic data showed Estribec achieved favorable predictive performance against Gaussian process regression (GPR) and its tree variant (TGPR). Importantly Estribec ran always around 20 to 150 times faster than GPR and TGPR, which would be a sizable difference for conducting high-throughput experiments. Finally Estribec showed latent properties of real data which would be useful for tribology research.


Piece-wise non-homogeneous function
Mixture model
Stribeck curve
Probabilistic model


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.