Co-Optimized Machine-Learned Manifold Models for Large Eddy Simulation of Turbulent Combustion

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4 Scopus Citations


Many modeling approaches in large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent combustion employ a projection of the thermochemical state onto a low-dimensional manifold within state space to reduce the number of transported variables and hence computational cost. Flamelet-generated manifolds (FGM) is an example of a well-established, physics-based approach, but increasingly, principal component analysis (PCA) is being used as a data-driven method for generating manifold models. For both approaches, the nonlinear relationship between the location on the predefined manifold and the outputs of interest, such as reaction rates, can be tabulated or encoded in a neural network. This work proposes a new approach for manifold modeling that extends these existing approaches. A modified neural network structure simultaneously encodes the definition of the manifold variables, the nonlinear mapping, and the subfilter closure for LES. This allows all three of these aspects of the model to be co-optimized, generating a model from any source of combustion thermochemical state data. The manifold parameterizing variables are constrained to be linear combinations of species, as in FGM and PCA-based models, to aid in interpretability and implementation. For LES, subfilter variances of the manifold variables are also included as inputs. Two types of a priori analysis are performed to evaluate the new approach. In the first, the model is trained on data from one-dimensional premixed flames. In this case, the approach recovers the behavior of flamelet-based manifold approaches, and in fact slightly improves performance by identifying an optimized progress variable. The approach is also applied to data from direct numerical simulations of spherical ignition kernels in isotropic turbulence. For any specified manifold dimensionality, the new approach provides substantially lower prediction errors than a PCA-based model developed from the same data set. Additionally, the LES formulation of the new approach can provide accurate predictions for filtered reaction rates across a variety of filter widths.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number112286
Number of pages21
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-81425


  • Artificial neural network
  • Machine learning
  • Principal component analysis
  • Reduced-order manifold models


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