Conditioning of deep-learning surrogate models to image data with application to reservoir characterization

Cong Xiao, Olwijn Leeuwenburgh, Hai-Xiang Lin, Arnold Heemink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Imaging-type monitoring techniques are used in monitoring dynamic processes in many domains, including medicine, engineering, and geophysics. This paper aims to propose an efficient workflow for application of such data for the conditioning of simulation models. Such applications are very common in e.g. the geosciences, where large-scale simulation models and measured data are used to monitor the state of e.g. energy and water systems, predict their future behavior and optimize actions to achieve desired behavior of the system. In order to reduce the high computational cost and complexity of data assimilation workflows for high-dimensional parameter estimation, a residual-in-residual dense block extension of the U-Net convolutional network architecture is proposed, to predict time-evolving features in high-dimensional grids. The network is trained using high-fidelity model simulations. We present two examples of application of the trained network as a surrogate within an iterative ensemble-based workflow to estimate the static parameters of geological reservoirs based on binary-type image data, which represent fluid facies as obtained from time-lapse seismic surveys. The differences between binary images are parameterized in terms of distances between the fluid-facies boundaries, or fronts. We discuss the impact of the choice of network architecture, loss function, and number of training samples on the accuracy of results and on overall computational cost. From comparisons with conventional workflows based entirely on high-fidelity simulation models, we conclude that the proposed surrogate-supported hybrid workflow is able to deliver results with an accuracy equal to or better than the conventional workflow, and at significantly lower cost. Cost reductions are shown to increase with the number of samples of the uncertain parameter fields. The hybrid workflow is generic and should be applicable in addressing inverse problems in many geophysical applications as well as other engineering domains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106956
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Data assimilation
  • Data parameterization
  • Deep convolutional neural network
  • Image segmentation
  • Reservoir simulation


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