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Sequential Monte Carlo Methods for High-Dimensional Inverse Problems: A case study for the Navier-Stokes equations

Kantas, N; Beskos, A; Jasra, A; (2014) Sequential Monte Carlo Methods for High-Dimensional Inverse Problems: A case study for the Navier-Stokes equations. SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification , 2 (1) pp. 464-489. 10.1137/130930364. Green open access

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Abstract

We consider the inverse problem of estimating the initial condition of a partial differential equation, which is only observed through noisy measurements at discrete time intervals. In particular, we focus on the case where Eulerian measurements are obtained from the time and space evolving vector field, whose evolution obeys the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations defined on a torus. This context is particularly relevant to the area of numerical weather forecasting and data assimilation. We will adopt a Bayesian formulation resulting from a particular regularization that ensures the problem is well posed. In the context of Monte Carlo based inference, it is a challenging task to obtain samples from the resulting high dimensional posterior on the initial condition. In real data assimilation applications it is common for computational methods to invoke the use of heuristics and Gaussian approximations. The resulting inferences are biased and not well-justified in the presence of non-linear dynamics and observations. On the other hand, Monte Carlo methods can be used to assimilate data in a principled manner, but are often perceived as inefficient in this context due to the high-dimensionality of the problem. In this work we will propose a generic Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) sampling approach for high dimensional inverse problems that overcomes these difficulties. The method builds upon Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques, which are currently considered as benchmarks for evaluating data assimilation algorithms used in practice. In our numerical examples, the proposed SMC approach achieves the same accuracy as MCMC but in a much more efficient manner.

Type: Article
Title: Sequential Monte Carlo Methods for High-Dimensional Inverse Problems: A case study for the Navier-Stokes equations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1137/130930364
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1137/130930364
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1425838
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