Estimation of distribution algorithms applied to history matching

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The topic of automatically history-matched reservoir models has seen much research activity in recent years. History matching is an example of an inverse problem, and there is significant active research on inverse problems in many other scientific and engineering areas. While many techniques from other fields, such as genetic algorithms, evolutionary strategies, differential evolution, particle swarm optimization, and the ensemble Kalman filter have been tried in the oil industry, more recent and effective ideas have yet to be tested. One of these relatively untested ideas is a class of algorithms known as estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs). EDAs are population-based algorithms that use probability models to estimate the probability distribution of promising solutions, and then to generate new candidate solutions. EDAs have been shown to be very efficient in very complex high-dimensional problems.

An example of a state-of-the-art EDA is the Bayesian optimization algorithm (BOA), which is a multivariate EDA employing Bayesian networks for modeling the relationships between good solutions. The use of a Bayesian network leads to relatively fast convergence as well as high diversity in the matched models.

Given the relatively limited number of reservoir simulations used in history matching, EDA-BOA offers the promise of high-quality history matches with a fast convergence rate.

In this paper, we introduce EDAs and describe BOA in detail. We show results of the EDA-BOA algorithm on two history-matching problems. First, we tune the algorithm, demonstrate convergence speed, and search diversity on the PUNQ-S3 synthetic case. Second, we apply the algorithm to a real North Sea turbidite field with multiple wells. In both examples, we show improvements in performance over traditional population-based algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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