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Proceedings Paper

Bayesian probabilistic approach for inverse source determination from limited and noisy chemical or biological sensor concentration measurements
Author(s): Eugene Yee
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Paper Abstract

Although a great deal of research effort has been focused on the forward prediction of the dispersion of contaminants (e.g., chemical and biological warfare agents) released into the turbulent atmosphere, much less work has been directed toward the inverse prediction of agent source location and strength from the measured concentration, even though the importance of this problem for a number of practical applications is obvious. In general, the inverse problem of source reconstruction is ill-posed and unsolvable without additional information. It is demonstrated that a Bayesian probabilistic inferential framework provides a natural and logically consistent method for source reconstruction from a limited number of noisy concentration data. In particular, the Bayesian approach permits one to incorporate prior knowledge about the source as well as additional information regarding both model and data errors. The latter enables a rigorous determination of the uncertainty in the inference of the source parameters (e.g., spatial location, emission rate, release time, etc.), hence extending the potential of the methodology as a tool for quantitative source reconstruction. A model (or, source-receptor relationship) that relates the source distribution to the concentration data measured by a number of sensors is formulated, and Bayesian probability theory is used to derive the posterior probability density function of the source parameters. A computationally efficient methodology for determination of the likelihood function for the problem, based on an adjoint representation of the source-receptor relationship, is described. Furthermore, we describe the application of efficient stochastic algorithms based on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) for sampling from the posterior distribution of the source parameters, the latter of which is required to undertake the Bayesian computation. The Bayesian inferential methodology for source reconstruction is validated against real dispersion data for two cases involving contaminant dispersion in highly disturbed flows over urban and complex environments where the idealizations of horizontal homogeneity and/or temporal stationarity in the flow cannot be applied to simplify the problem. Furthermore, the methodology is applied to the case of reconstruction of multiple sources.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6554, Chemical and Biological Sensing VIII, 65540W (27 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721630
Show Author Affiliations
Eugene Yee, Defence R&D Canada Suffield (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6554:
Chemical and Biological Sensing VIII
Augustus W. Fountain, Editor(s)

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