Abstract: Accurate, yet cost effective, sites characterization and analysis of uncertainty are the first steps in remediation efforts at sites with subsurface contamination. From the time of source identification to the monitoring and assessment of a remediation design, the management objectives change, resulting in increased costs and the need for additional data acquisition. Parameter estimation is a key component in reliable site characterization, contaminant flow and transport predictions, plume delineation and many other data management goals. We implement a data-driven parameter estimation technique using a counterpropagation Artificial Neural Network (ANN) that is able to incorporate multiple types of data. This method is applied to estimates of geophysical properties measured on a slab of Berea sandstone and delineation of the leachate plume migrating from a landfill in upstate N.Y. The estimates generated by the ANN have been found to be statistically similar to estimates generated using conventional geostatistical kriging methods. The associated parameter uncertainty in site characterization, due to sparsely distributed samples (spatial or temporal) and incomplete site knowledge, is of major concern in resource mining and environmental engineering. We also illustrate the ability of the ANN method to perform conditional simulation using the spatial structure of parameters identified with semi-variogram analysis. This method allows for the generation of simulations that respect the observed measurement data, as well as the data's underlying spatial structure. The method of conditional simulation is used in a 3-dimensional application to estimate the uncertainty of soil lithology.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).