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Published May 3, 2023 | In Press
Journal Article Open

Gaussian process hydrodynamics

Owhadi, H. ORCID icon


We present a Gaussian process (GP) approach, called Gaussian process hydrodynamics (GPH) for approximating the solution to the Euler and Navier-Stokes (NS) equations. Similar to smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), GPH is a Lagrangian particle-based approach that involves the tracking of a finite number of particles transported by a flow. However, these particles do not represent mollified particles of matter but carry discrete/partial information about the continuous flow. Closure is achieved by placing a divergence-free GP prior ξ on the velocity field and conditioning it on the vorticity at the particle locations. Known physics (e.g., the Richardson cascade and velocity increment power laws) is incorporated into the GP prior by using physics-informed additive kernels. This is equivalent to expressing ξ as a sum of independent GPs ξl, which we call modes, acting at different scales (each mode ξl self-activates to represent the formation of eddies at the corresponding scales). This approach enables a quantitative analysis of the Richardson cascade through the analysis of the activation of these modes, and enables us to analyze coarse-grain turbulence statistically rather than deterministically. Because GPH is formulated by using the vorticity equations, it does not require solving a pressure equation. By enforcing incompressibility and fluid-structure boundary conditions through the selection of a kernel, GPH requires significantly fewer particles than SPH. Because GPH has a natural probabilistic interpretation, the numerical results come with uncertainty estimates, enabling their incorporation into an uncertainty quantification (UQ) pipeline and adding/removing particles (quanta of information) in an adapted manner. The proposed approach is suitable for analysis because it inherits the complexity of state-of-the-art solvers for dense kernel matrices and results in a natural definition of turbulence as information loss. Numerical experiments support the importance of selecting physics-informed kernels and illustrate the major impact of such kernels on the accuracy and stability. Because the proposed approach uses a Bayesian interpretation, it naturally enables data assimilation and predictions and estimations by mixing simulation data and experimental data.

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© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. This project was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under the MURI award number FA9550-20-1-0358 (Machine Learning and Physics-Based Modeling and Simulation) and by the Department of Energy under the award number DE-SC0023163 (SEA-CROGS: Scalable, Efficient, and Accelerated Causal Reasoning Operators, Graphs and Spikes for Earth and Embedded Systems). The author would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions.

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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023