Robust full-waveform inversion using the Student's t-distribution

TitleRobust full-waveform inversion using the Student's t-distribution
Publication TypeConference
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsAleksandr Y. Aravkin, Tristan van Leeuwen, Felix J. Herrmann
Conference NameSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts
KeywordsFull-waveform inversion, Optimization, SEG

Full-waveform inversion (FWI) is a computational procedure to extract medium parameters from seismic data. Robust methods for FWI are needed to overcome sensitivity to noise and in cases where modeling is particularly poor or far from the real data generating process. We survey previous robust methods from a statistical perspective, and use this perspective to derive a new robust method by assuming the random errors in our model arise from the Student's t-distribution. We show that in contrast to previous robust methods, the new method progres- sively down-weighs large outliers, effectively ignoring them once they are large enough. This suggests that the new method is more robust and suitable for situations with very poor data quality or modeling. Experiments show that the new method recovers as well or better than previous robust methods, and can recover models with quality comparable to standard methods on noise-free data when some of the data is completely corrupted, and even when a marine acquisition mask is entirely ignored in the modeling. The ability to ignore a marine acquisition mask via robust FWI methods offers an opportunity for stochastic optimization methods in marine acquisition.

Citation Keyaravkin2011SEGrobust