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Geophysical Inversion and Optimal Transport

by   Malcolm Sambridge, et al.
Australian National University

We propose a new approach to measuring the agreement between two oscillatory time series, such as seismic waveforms, and demonstrate that it can be employed effectively in inverse problems. Our approach is based on Optimal Transport theory and the Wasserstein distance, with a novel transformation of the time series to ensure that necessary normalisation and positivity conditions are met. Our measure is differentiable, and can readily be employed within an optimization framework. We demonstrate performance with a variety of synthetic examples, including seismic source inversion, and observe substantially better convergence properties than achieved with conventional L_2 misfits. We also briefly discuss the relationship between Optimal Transport and Bayesian inference.


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