Automating Turbulence Modeling by Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

05/18/2020 ∙ by Guido Novati, et al. ∙ 0

The modeling of turbulent flows is critical to scientific and engineering problems ranging from aircraft design to weather forecasting and climate prediction. Over the last sixty years numerous turbulence models have been proposed, largely based on physical insight and engineering intuition. Recent advances in machine learning and data science have incited new efforts to complement these approaches. To date, all such efforts have focused on supervised learning which, despite demonstrated promise, encounters difficulties in generalizing beyond the distributions of the training data. In this work we introduce multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) as an automated discovery tool of turbulence models. We demonstrate the potential of this approach on Large Eddy Simulations of homogeneous and isotropic turbulence using as reward the recovery of the statistical properties of Direct Numerical Simulations. Here, the closure model is formulated as a control policy enacted by cooperating agents, which detect critical spatio-temporal patterns in the flow field to estimate the unresolved sub-grid scale (SGS) physics. The present results are obtained with state-of-the-art algorithms based on experience replay and compare favorably with established dynamic SGS modeling approaches. Moreover, we show that the present turbulence models generalize across grid sizes and flow conditions as expressed by the Reynolds numbers.

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