Linear theory for filtering nonlinear multiscale systems with model error

Tyrus Berry, John Harlim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we study filtering of multiscale dynamical systems with model error arising from limitations in resolving the smaller scale processes. In particular, the analysis assumes the availability of continuous-time noisy observations of all components of the slow variables. Mathematically, this paper presents new results on higher order asymptotic expansion of the first two moments of a conditional measure. In particular, we are interested in the application of filtering multiscale problems in which the conditional distribution is defined over the slow variables, given noisy observation of the slow variables alone. From the mathematical analysis, we learn that for a continuous time linear model with Gaussian noise, there exists a unique choice of parameters in a linear reduced model for the slow variables which gives the optimal filtering when only the slow variables are observed. Moreover, these parameters simultaneously give the optimal equilibrium statistical estimates of the underlying system, and as a consequence they can be estimated offline from the equilibrium statistics of the true signal. By examining a nonlinear test model, we show that the linear theory extends in this non-Gaussian, nonlinear configuration as long as we know the optimal stochastic parametrization and the correct observation model. However, when the stochastic parametrization model is inappropriate, parameters chosen for good filter performance may give poor equilibrium statistical estimates and vice versa; this finding is based on analytical and numerical results on our nonlinear test model and the two-layer Lorenz-96 model. Finally, even when the correct stochastic ansatz is given, it is imperative to estimate the parameters simultaneously and to account for the nonlinear feedback of the stochastic parameters into the reduced filter estimates. In numerical experiments on the two-layer Lorenz-96 model, we find that the parameters estimated online, as part of a filtering procedure, simultaneously produce accurate filtering and equilibrium statistical prediction. In contrast, an offline estimation technique based on a linear regression, which fits the parameters to a training dataset without using the filter, yields filter estimates which are worse than the observations or even divergent when the slow variables are not fully observed. This finding does not imply that all offline methods are inherently inferior to the onlinemethod for nonlinear estimation problems, it only suggests that an ideal estimation technique should estimate all parameters simultaneously whether it is online or offline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20140168
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume470
Issue number2167
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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