February 11, 2016

A new computational method to predict rare events

MIT Sea Grant postdoc Hessam Babaee and co-author T.P. Sapsis from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT published new research in Proceeding of the Royal Society A on using computational methods to predict rare events.

A broad range of complex systems in nature and technology are characterized by the presence of strongly transient and unexpected dynamic features, such as rare events. Due to their abrupt nature, these instabilities are hard to predict and understand. These rare events, although unlikely to occur, they can potentially have enormous impacts. For example, rogue or freak waves in oceans are hard to predict, but can cause catastrophic damage to ship and coastal structures. This study presents a novel method that extracts the most relevant components of the dynamics for these transient features. The proposed approach paves the way for the formulation of efficient prediction, filtering, and control strategies of infinite-dimensional, chaotic systems encountered in science and engineering.

The paper can be found here: A minimization principle for the description of modes associated with finite-time instabilities