WIAS Preprint No. 2927, (2022)

Low-rank Wasserstein polynomial chaos expansions in the framework of optimal transport


  • Gruhlke, Robert
  • Eigel, Martin

2020 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 15A69 35R13 65N12 65N22 65J10 97N50


  • Tensor train format, Wasserstein metric, polynomial chaos expansion, alternating least squares, numerical upscaling, tensor chain, Sinkhorn divergence, optimal transport, multimodal distribution




A unsupervised learning approach for the computation of an explicit functional representation of a random vector Y is presented, which only relies on a finite set of samples with unknown distribution. Motivated by recent advances with computational optimal transport for estimating Wasserstein distances, we develop a new Wasserstein multi-element polynomial chaos expansion (WPCE). It relies on the minimization of a regularized empirical Wasserstein metric known as debiased Sinkhorn divergence.

As a requirement for an efficient polynomial basis expansion, a suitable (minimal) stochastic coordinate system X has to be determined with the aim to identify ideally independent random variables. This approach generalizes representations through diffeomorphic transport maps to the case of non-continuous and non-injective model classes M with different input and output dimension, yielding the relation Y=M(X) in distribution. Moreover, since the used PCE grows exponentially in the number of random coordinates of X, we introduce an appropriate low-rank format given as stacks of tensor trains, which alleviates the curse of dimensionality, leading to only linear dependence on the input dimension. By the choice of the model class M and the smooth loss function, higher order optimization schemes become possible. It is shown that the relaxation to a discontinuous model class is necessary to explain multimodal distributions. Moreover, the proposed framework is applied to a numerical upscaling task, considering a computationally challenging microscopic random non-periodic composite material. This leads to tractable effective macroscopic random field in adopted stochastic coordinates.

Download Documents