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  1. Bayesian inference provides a systematic framework for integration of data with mathematical models to quantify the uncertainty in the solution of the inverse problem. However, the solution of Bayesian inverse problems governed by complex forward models described by partial differential equations (PDEs) remains prohibitive with black-box Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. We present hIPPYlib-MUQ, an extensible and scalable software framework that contains implementations of state-of-the art algorithms aimed to overcome the challenges of high-dimensional, PDE-constrained Bayesian inverse problems. These algorithms accelerate MCMC sampling by exploiting the geometry and intrinsic low-dimensionality of parameter space via derivative information and low rank approximation. The software integrates two complementary open-source software packages, hIPPYlib and MUQ. hIPPYlib solves PDE-constrained inverse problems using automatically-generated adjoint-based derivatives, but it lacks full Bayesian capabilities. MUQ provides a spectrum of powerful Bayesian inversion models and algorithms, but expects forward models to come equipped with gradients and Hessians to permit large-scale solution. By combining these two complementary libraries, we created a robust, scalable, and efficient software framework that realizes the benefits of each and allows us to tackle complex large-scale Bayesian inverse problems across a broad spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. To illustrate the capabilities of hIPPYlib-MUQ, we present a comparison of a number of MCMC methods available in the integrated software on several high-dimensional Bayesian inverse problems. These include problems characterized by both linear and nonlinear PDEs, various noise models, and different parameter dimensions. The results demonstrate that large (∼ 50×) speedups over conventional black box and gradient-based MCMC algorithms can be obtained by exploiting Hessian information (from the log-posterior), underscoring the power of the integrated hIPPYlib-MUQ framework. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 30, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We introduce a novel geometry-informed irreversible perturbation that accelerates convergence of the Langevin algorithm for Bayesian computation. It is well documented that there exist perturbations to the Langevin dynamics that preserve its invariant measure while accelerating its convergence. Irreversible perturbations and reversible perturbations (such as Riemannian manifold Langevin dynamics (RMLD)) have separately been shown to improve the performance of Langevin samplers. We consider these two perturbations simultaneously by presenting a novel form of irreversible perturbation for RMLD that is informed by the underlying geometry. Through numerical examples, we show that this new irreversible perturbation can improve estimation performance over irreversible perturbations that do not take the geometry into account. Moreover we demonstrate that irreversible perturbations generally can be implemented in conjunction with the stochastic gradient version of the Langevin algorithm. Lastly, while continuous-time irreversible perturbations cannot impair the performance of a Langevin estimator, the situation can sometimes be more complicated when discretization is considered. To this end, we describe a discrete-time example in which irreversibility increases both the bias and variance of the resulting estimator.

     
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract. Satellite remote sensing provides a global view to processes on Earth that has unique benefits compared to making measurements on the ground, such as global coverage and enormous data volume. The typical downsides are spatial and temporal gaps and potentially low data quality. Meaningful statistical inference from such data requires overcoming these problems and developing efficient and robust computational tools.We design and implement a computationally efficient multi-scale Gaussian process (GP) software package, satGP, geared towards remote sensing applications. The software is able to handle problems of enormous sizes and to compute marginals and sample from the random field conditioning on at least hundreds of millions of observations. This is achieved by optimizing the computation by, e.g., randomization and splitting the problem into parallel local subproblems which aggressively discard uninformative data. We describe the mean function of the Gaussian process by approximating marginals of a Markov random field (MRF). Variability around the mean is modeled with a multi-scale covariance kernel, which consists of Matérn, exponential, and periodic components. We also demonstrate how winds can be used to inform covariances locally.The covariance kernel parameters are learned by calculating an approximate marginal maximum likelihood estimate, and the validity of both the multi-scale approach and the method used to learn the kernel parameters is verified in synthetic experiments. We apply these techniques to a moderate size ozone data set produced by an atmospheric chemistry model and to the very large number of observations retrieved from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite. The satGP software is released under an open-source license. 
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