© 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/


As one of the most adopted sequential data assimilation methods in many areas, especially those involving complex nonlinear dynamics, the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) has been under extensive investigation regarding its properties and efficiency. Compared to other variants of the Kalman filter (KF), EnKF is straightforward to implement, as it employs random ensembles to represent solution states. This, however, introduces sampling errors that affect the accuracy of EnKF in a negative manner. Though sampling errors can be easily reduced by using a large number of samples, in practice this is undesirable as each ensemble member is a solution of the system of state equations and can be time consuming to compute for large-scale problems. In this paper we present an efficient EnKF implementation via generalized polynomial chaos (gPC) expansion. The key ingredients of the proposed approach involve (1) solving the system of stochastic state equations via the gPC methodology to gain efficiency; and (2) sampling the gPC approximation of the stochastic solution with an arbitrarily large number of samples, at virtually no additional computational cost, to drastically reduce the sampling errors. The resulting algorithm thus achieves a high accuracy at reduced computational cost, compared to the classical implementations of EnKF. Numerical examples are provided to verify the convergence property and accuracy improvement of the new algorithm. We also prove that for linear systems with Gaussian noise, the first-order gPC Kalman filter method is equivalent to the exact Kalman filter.


Kalman filter, data assimilation, polynomial chaos, uncertainty quantification

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