Transfer operators from optimal transport plans for coherent set detection

P Koltai and J von Lindheim and S Neumayer and G Steidl, PHYSICA D-NONLINEAR PHENOMENA, 426, 132980 (2021).

DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2021.132980

The topic of this study lies in the intersection of two fields. One is related with analyzing transport phenomena in complicated flows. For this purpose, we use so-called coherent sets: non-dispersing, possibly moving regions in the flow's domain. The other is concerned with reconstructing a flow field from observations of its action on a measure, which we address by optimal transport. We show that the framework of optimal transport is well suited for delivering the formal requirements on which a coherent-set analysis can be based on. The necessary noise-robustness requirement of coherence can be matched by the computationally efficient concept of unbalanced regularized optimal transport. Moreover, the applied regularization can be interpreted as an optimal way of retrieving the full dynamics given the extremely restricted information of an initial and a final particle distribution moving according to Brownian motion. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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