skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Large-Scale Optimization for Bayesian Inference in Complex Systems

The SAGUARO (Scalable Algorithms for Groundwater Uncertainty Analysis and Robust Optimization) Project focused on the development of scalable numerical algorithms for large-scale Bayesian inversion in complex systems that capitalize on advances in large-scale simulation-based optimization and inversion methods. The project was a collaborative effort among MIT, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Sandia National Laboratories. The research was directed in three complementary areas: efficient approximations of the Hessian operator, reductions in complexity of forward simulations via stochastic spectral approximations and model reduction, and employing large-scale optimization concepts to accelerate sampling. The MIT--Sandia component of the SAGUARO Project addressed the intractability of conventional sampling methods for large-scale statistical inverse problems by devising reduced-order models that are faithful to the full-order model over a wide range of parameter values; sampling then employs the reduced model rather than the full model, resulting in very large computational savings. Results indicate little effect on the computed posterior distribution. On the other hand, in the Texas--Georgia Tech component of the project, we retain the full-order model, but exploit inverse problem structure (adjoint-based gradients and partial Hessian information of the parameter-to-observation map) to implicitly extract lower dimensional information on the posterior distribution;more » this greatly speeds up sampling methods, so that fewer sampling points are needed. We can think of these two approaches as ``reduce then sample'' and ``sample then reduce.'' In fact, these two approaches are complementary, and can be used in conjunction with each other. Moreover, they both exploit deterministic inverse problem structure, in the form of adjoint-based gradient and Hessian information of the underlying parameter-to-observation map, to achieve their speedups.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. MIT
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Final report
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-08ER25858; SC0002517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE SC Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (SC-21)
Country of Publication:
United States