Uncertainty Quantification for low-frequency Maxwell equations with stochastic conductivity models
Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) has been an active area of research in recent years with a wide range of applications in data and imaging sciences. In many problems, the source of uncertainty stems from an unknown parameter in the model. In physical and engineering systems for example, the parameters of the partial differential equation (PDE) that model the observed data may be unknown or incompletely specified. In such cases, one may use a probabilistic description based on prior information and formulate a forward UQ problem of characterising the uncertainty in the PDE solution and observations in response to that in the parameters. Conversely, inverse UQ encompasses the statistical estimation of the unknown parameters from the available observations, which can be cast as a Bayesian inverse problem. The contributions of the thesis focus on examining the aforementioned forward and inverse UQ problems for the low-frequency, time-harmonic Maxwell equations, where the model uncertainty emanates from the lack of knowledge of the material conductivity parameter. The motivation comes from the Controlled-Source Electromagnetic Method (CSEM) that aims to detect and image hydrocarbon reservoirs by using electromagnetic field (EM) measurements to obtain information about the conductivity profile of the sub-seabed. Traditionally, algorithms for deterministic models have been employed to solve the inverse problem in CSEM by optimisation and regularisation methods, which aside from the image reconstruction provide no quantitative information on the credibility of its features. This work employs instead stochastic models where the conductivity is represented as a lognormal random field, with the objective of providing a more informative characterisation of the model observables and the unknown parameters. The variational formulation of these stochastic models is analysed and proved to be well-posed under suitable assumptions. For computational purposes the stochastic formulation is recast as a deterministic, parametric problem with distributed uncertainty, which leads to an infinite-dimensional integration problem with respect to the prior and posterior measure. One of the main challenges is thus the approximation of these integrals, with the standard choice being some variant of the Monte-Carlo (MC) method. However, such methods typically fail to take advantage of the intrinsic properties of the model and suffer from unsatisfactory convergence rates. Based on recently developed theory on high-dimensional approximation, this thesis advocates the use of Sparse Quadrature (SQ) to tackle the integration problem. For the models considered here and under certain assumptions, we prove that for forward UQ, Sparse Quadrature can attain dimension-independent convergence rates that out-perform MC. Typical CSEM models are large-scale and thus additional effort is made in this work to reduce the cost of obtaining forward solutions for each sampling parameter by utilising the weighted Reduced Basis method (RB) and the Empirical Interpolation Method (EIM). The proposed variant of a combined SQ-EIM-RB algorithm is based on an adaptive selection of training sets and a primal-dual, goal-oriented formulation for the EIM-RB approximation. Numerical examples show that the suggested computational framework can alleviate the computational costs associated with forward UQ for the pertinent large-scale models, thus providing a viable methodology for practical applications.