Bayesian optimization algorithm applied to uncertainty quantification

Asaad Abdollahzadeh, Alan Reynolds, Michael Andrew Christie, David Corne, Brian Davies, Glyn Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Prudent decision making in subsurface assets requires reservoir uncertainty quantification. In a typical uncertainty-quantification study, reservoir models must be updated using the observed response from the reservoir by a process known as history matching. This involves solving an inverse problem, finding reservoir models that produce, under simulation, a similar response to that of the real reservoir. However, this requires multiple expensive multiphase-flow simulations. Thus, uncertainty-quantification studies employ optimization techniques to find acceptable models to be used in prediction. Different optimization algorithms and search strategies are presented in the literature, but they are generally unsatisfactory because of slow convergence to the optimal regions of the global search space, and, more importantly, failure in finding multiple acceptable reservoir models. In this context, a new approach is offered by estimation-of-distribution algorithms (EDAs). EDAs are population-based algorithms that use models to estimate the probability distribution of promising solutions and then generate new candidate solutions.
This paper explores the application of EDAs, including univariate and multivariate models. We discuss two histogram-based univariate models and one multivariate model, the Bayesian optimization algorithm (BOA), which employs Bayesian networks for modeling. By considering possible interactions between variables and exploiting explicitly stored knowledge of such interactions, EDAs can accelerate the search process while preserving search diversity. Unlike most existing approaches applied to uncertainty quantification, the Bayesian network allows the BOA to build solutions using flexible rules learned from the models obtained, rather than fixed rules, leading to better solutions and improved convergence. The BOA is naturally suited to finding good solutions in complex high-dimensional spaces, such as those typical in reservoir-uncertainty quantification.
We demonstrate the effectiveness of EDA by applying the well-known synthetic PUNQ-S3 case with multiple wells. This allows us to verify the methodology in a well-controlled case. Results show better estimation of uncertainty when compared with some other traditional population-based algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-873
Number of pages9
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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