Model reduction for fluids using balanced proper orthogonal decomposition

C. W. Rowley

International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos 15(3) : 9971013, March 2005.


Many of the tools of dynamical systems and control theory have gone largely unused for fluids, because the governing equations are so dynamically complex, both high-dimensional and nonlinear. Model reduction involves finding low-dimensional models that approximate the full high-dimensional dynamics. This paper compares three different methods of model reduction: proper orthogonal decomposition (POD), balanced truncation, and a method called balanced POD. Balanced truncation produces better reduced-order models than POD, but is not computationally tractable for very large systems. Balanced POD is a tractable method for computing approximate balanced truncations, that has computational cost similar to POD. The method presented here is a variation of existing methods using empirical Gramians, and the main contributions of the present paper are a version of the method of snapshots that allows one to compute balancing transformations directly, without separate reduction of the Gramians; and an output projection method, which allows tractable computation even when the number of outputs is large. The output projection method requires minimal additional computation, and has a priori error bounds that can guide the choice of rank of the projection. Connections between POD and balanced truncation are also illuminated: in particular, balanced truncation may be viewed as POD of a particular dataset, using the observability Gramian as an inner product. The three methods are illustrated on a numerical example, the linearized flow in a plane channel.

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