Bayesian approach for validation of runaway electron simulations

Aaro E. Järvinen (Corresponding Author), Tünde Fülöp, Eero Hirvijoki, Mathias Hoppe, Adam Kit, Jan Åström, JET Contributors

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Plasma-terminating disruptions in future fusion reactors may result in conversion of the initial current to a relativistic runaway electron beam. Validated predictive tools are required to optimise the scenarios and mitigation actuators to avoid the excessive damage that can be caused by such events. Many of the simulation tools applied in fusion energy research require the user to specify input parameters that are not constrained by the available experimental information. The conventional approach, where an expert modeller calibrates these input parameters based on domain knowledge, is prone to lead to an intractable validation challenge without systematic uncertainty quantification. Bayesian inference algorithms offer a promising alternative approach that naturally includes uncertainty quantification and is less subject to user bias in choosing the input parameters. The main challenge in using these methods is the computational cost of simulating enough samples to construct the posterior distributions for the uncertain input parameters. This challenge can be overcome by combining probabilistic surrogate modelling, such as Gaussian process regression, with Bayesian optimisation, which can reduce the number of required simulations by several orders of magnitude. Here, we implement this type of Bayesian optimisation framework for a model for analysis of disruption runaway electrons, and explore for simulations of current quench in a JET plasma discharge with an argon induced disruption. We use this proof-of-principle framework to explore the optimum input parameters with uncertainties in optimisation tasks ranging from one to seven dimensions. The relevant Python codes that are used in the analysis are available via
Original languageEnglish
Article number905880612
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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