IRTG Modern Inverse Problems (MIP)
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EU Regional School with Prof. Dr. Andreas Fichtner

11. Mai 2021 @ 15:00 - 18:30

Prof. Dr. Andreas Fichtner – Probabilistic Full-Waveform Inversion

Institut für Geophysik, ETH Zürich, Schweiz


In the course of the past decade, full-waveform inversion has matured from a largely idealistic dream into a commonly applied method to image the internal structure of inaccessible bodies. Despite undeniable success, a major problem remains: The quantification of uncertainties in this often strongly nonlinear inverse problem.

In this lecture, I will present a series of computational approaches that brings probabilistic full-waveform inversion with complete uncertainty quantification within reach:

1) Hamiltonian Monte Carlo sampling of the posterior probability density treats model parameters as particles that orbit through model space, obeying Hamilton’s equations from classical mechanics. The scaling properties of Hamiltonian Monte Carlo allow us to consider high-dimensional model spaces that often cannot be considered with more traditional, derivative-free sampling methods.

2) Autotuning based on limited-memory quasi-Newton methods provides nearly optimal mass matrices for Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, thereby largely removing laborious manual tuning. A factorised version of the L-BFGS algorithm, in particular, can increase the effective sample size by more than an order of magnitude.

3) Wavefield-adapted spectral-element meshes exploit prior knowledge on the geometry of wavefields. Such prior knowledge is frequently available for media that are smooth relative to the minimum wavelength. Wavefield-adapted meshes have the potential to drastically reduce the number of elements, leading to a computational forward modelling cost that makes Monte Carlo sampling possible.


11. Mai 2021
15:00 - 18:30


a link for the Zoom meeting room will be send in the newsletter one week before the seminar starts. If you need any organizational help please contact office@aices.rwth-aachen.de