Mesh refinement and numerical sensitivity analysis for parameter calibration of partial differential equations

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We consider the calibration of parameters in physical models described by partial differential equations. This task is formulated as a constrained optimization problem with a cost functional of least squares type using information obtained from measurements. An important issue in the numerical solution of this type of problem is the control of the errors introduced, first, by discretization of the equations describing the physical model, and second, by measurement errors or other perturbations. Our strategy is as follows: we suppose that the user defines an interest functional I, which might depend on both the state variable and the parameters and which represents the goal of the computation. First, we propose an a posteriori error estimator which measures the error with respect to this functional. This error estimator is used in an adaptive algorithm to construct economic meshes by local mesh refinement. The proposed estimator requires the solution of an auxiliary linear equation. Second, we address the question of sensitivity. Applying similar techniques as before, we derive quantities which describe the influence of small changes in the measurements on the value of the interest functional. These numbers, which we call relative condition numbers, give additional information on the problem under consideration. They can be computed by means of the solution of the auxiliary problem determined before. Finally, we demonstrate our approach at hand of a parameter calibration problem for a model flow problem. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Becker, R., & Vexler, B. (2005). Mesh refinement and numerical sensitivity analysis for parameter calibration of partial differential equations. Journal of Computational Physics, 206(1), 95–110.

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