Stochastic Expansion Methods

The development of these techniques mirrors that of deterministic finite element analysis utilizing the notions of projection, orthogonality, and weak convergence [GRH99], [GS91]. Rather than estimating point probabilities, they form an approximation to the functional relationship between response functions and their random inputs, which provides a more complete uncertainty representation for use in multi-code simulations. Expansion methods include polynomial chaos expansions (PCE), which employ multivariate orthogonal polynomials that are tailored to representing particular input probability distributions, and stochastic collocation (SC), which employs multivariate interpolation polynomials. For PCE, expansion coefficients may be evaluated using a spectral projection approach (based on sampling, tensor-product quadrature, Smolyak sparse grid, or cubature methods for numerical integration) or a regression approach (least squares or compressive sensing). For SC, interpolants are formed over tensor-product or sparse grids and may be local or global, value-based or gradient-enhanced, and nodal or hierarchical. In global value-based cases (Lagrange polynomials), the barycentric formulation is used [BT04], [Kli05], [Hig04] to improve numerical efficiency and stability. Both sets of methods provide analytic response moments and variance-based metrics; however, CDF/CCDF probabilities are evaluated numerically by sampling on the expansion.