Estimating uncertainties in statistics computed from direct numerical simulation

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Authors Todd A. Oliver, N. Malaya, R. Ulerich, R. Moser
Journal/Conference Name Physics of Fluids
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Rigorous assessment of uncertainty is crucial to the utility of direct numerical simulation (DNS) results. Uncertainties in the computed statistics arise from two sources finite statistical sampling and the discretization of the Navier–Stokes equations. Due to the presence of non-trivial sampling error, standard techniques for estimating discretization error (such as Richardson extrapolation) fail or are unreliable. This work provides a systematic and unified approach for estimating these errors. First, a sampling error estimator that accounts for correlation in the input data is developed. Then, this sampling error estimate is used as part of a Bayesian extension of Richardson extrapolation in order to characterize the discretization error. These methods are tested using the Lorenz equations and are shown to perform well. These techniques are then used to investigate the sampling and discretization errors in the DNS of a wall-bounded turbulent flow at Reτ ≈ 180. Both small (Lx/δ × Lz/δ = 4π × 2π) and la...
Date of publication 2014
Code Programming Language C++
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