Inadequacy of Linear Methods for Minimal Sensor Placement and Feature Selection in Nonlinear Systems: A New Approach Using Secants

Samuel E. Otto, Clarence W. Rowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sensor placement and feature selection are critical steps in engineering, modeling, and data science that share a common mathematical theme: the selected measurements should enable solution of an inverse problem. Most real-world systems of interest are nonlinear, yet the majority of available techniques for feature selection and sensor placement rely on assumptions of linearity or simple statistical models. We show that when these assumptions are violated, standard techniques can lead to costly over-sensing without guaranteeing that the desired information can be recovered from the measurements. In order to remedy these problems, we introduce a novel data-driven approach for sensor placement and feature selection for a general type of nonlinear inverse problem based on the information contained in secant vectors between data points. Using the secant-based approach, we develop three efficient greedy algorithms that each provide different types of robust, near-minimal reconstruction guarantees. We demonstrate them on two problems where linear techniques consistently fail: sensor placement to reconstruct a fluid flow formed by a complicated shock–mixing layer interaction and selecting fundamental manifold learning coordinates on a torus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalJournal of Nonlinear Science
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Keywords

  • Feature selection
  • Greedy algorithms
  • Manifold learning
  • Nonlinear inverse problems
  • Reduced-order modeling
  • Shock–turbulence interaction
  • State estimation
  • Submodular optimization

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