Robust and Data-Efficient Metamodel-Based Approaches for Online Analysis of Time-Dependent Systems


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Virginia Tech


Metamodeling is regarded as a powerful analysis tool to learn the input-output relationship of a system based on a limited amount of data collected when experiments with real systems are costly or impractical. As a popular metamodeling method, Gaussian process regression (GPR), has been successfully applied to analyses of various engineering systems. However, GPR-based metamodeling for time-dependent systems (TDSs) is especially challenging due to three reasons. First, TDSs require an appropriate account for temporal effects, however, standard GPR cannot address temporal effects easily and satisfactorily. Second, TDSs typically require analytics tools with a sufficiently high computational efficiency to support online decision making, but standard GPR may not be adequate for real-time implementation. Lastly, reliable uncertainty quantification is a key to success for operational planning of TDSs in real world, however, research on how to construct adequate error bounds for GPR-based metamodeling is sparse. Inspired by the challenges encountered in GPR-based analyses of two representative stochastic TDSs, i.e., load forecasting in a power system and trajectory prediction for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), this dissertation aims to develop novel modeling, sampling, and statistical analysis techniques for enhancing the computational and statistical efficiencies of GPR-based metamodeling to meet the requirements of practical implementations. Furthermore, an in-depth investigation on building uniform error bounds for stochastic kriging is conducted, which sets up a foundation for developing robust GPR-based metamodeling techniques for analyses of TDSs under the impact of strong heteroscedasticity.



Metamodeling, Gaussian process regression, load forecasting, trajectory prediction, uniform error bounds