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Section: Research Program

Reduced-order models

Massive parallelization and rethinking of numerical schemes will allow the use of mathematical models for a broader class of physical problems. For industrial applications, there is an increasing need for rapid and reliable numerical simulators to tackle design and control tasks. To provide a concrete example, in the design process of an aircraft, the flight conditions and manoeuvres, which provide the largest aircraft loads, are not known a priori. Therefore, the aerodynamic and inertial forces are calculated for a large number of conditions to give an estimate of the maximum loads, and hence stresses, that the structure of the detailed aircraft design might experience in service. As a result, the number of simulations required for a realistic design problem could easily be in the order of tens of millions. Even with simplistic models of the aircraft behavior this is an unfeasible number of separate simulations. However, engineering experience is used to identify the most likely critical load conditions, meaning that approximately hundreds of thousands simulations are required for conventional aircraft configurations. Furthermore, these analyses have to be repeated every time that there is an update in the aircraft structure.

Compared to existing approaches for ROMs  [35], our interest will be focused on two axes. On the one hand, we start from the consideration that small, highly nonlinear scales are typically concentrated in limited spatial regions of the full simulation domain. So for example, in the flow past a wing, the highly non-linear phenomena take place in the proximity of the walls at the scale of a millimeter, for computational domains that are of the order of hundreds of meters. Based on these considerations, we propose in [31] a multi-scale model where the large scales are described by far-field models based on ROMs and the small scales are simulated by high-fidelity models. The whole point for this approach is to optimally decouple the far field from the near field.

A second characterizing feature of our ROM approach is non-linear interpolation. We start from the consideration that dynamical models derived from the projection of the PDE model in the reduced space are neither stable to numerical integration nor robust to parameter variation when hard non-linear multi-scale phenomena are considered.

However, thanks to Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) [41], [47], [30] we can accurately approximate large solution databases using a low-dimensional base. Recent techniques to investigate the temporal evolution of the POD modes (Koopman modes  [42], [28], Dynamic Mode Decomposition  [45]) and allow a dynamic discrimination of the role played by each of them. This in turn can be exploited to interpolate between modes in parameter space, thanks to ideas relying on optimal transportation  [50], [32] that we have started developing in the FP7 project FFAST and H2020 AEROGUST.