State estimation and prediction using clustered particle filters

Yoonsang Lee, Andrew J. Majda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particle filtering is an essential tool to improve uncertain model predictions by incorporating noisy observational data from complex systems including non-Gaussian features. A class of particle filters, clustered particle filters, is introduced for high-dimensional nonlinear systems, which uses relatively few particles compared with the standard particle filter. The clustered particle filter captures non-Gaussian features of the true signal, which are typical in complex nonlinear dynamical systems such as geophysical systems. The method is also robust in the difficult regime of high-quality sparse and infrequent observations. The key features of the clustered particle filtering are coarse-grained localization through the clustering of the state variables and particle adjustment to stabilize the method; each observation affects only neighbor state variables through clustering and particles are adjusted to prevent particle collapse due to high-quality observations. The clustered particle filter is tested for the 40-dimensional Lorenz 96 model with several dynamical regimes including strongly non-Gaussian statistics. The clustered particle filter shows robust skill in both achieving accurate filter results and capturing non-Gaussian statistics of the true signal. It is further extended to multiscale data assimilation, which provides the large-scale estimation by combining a cheap reduced-order forecast model and mixed observations of the large- and small-scale variables. This approach enables the use of a larger number of particles due to the computational savings in the forecast model. The multiscale clustered particle filter is tested for one-dimensional dispersive wave turbulence using a forecast model with model errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14609-14614
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 20 2016


  • Data assimilation
  • Non-Gaussian
  • Particle filter
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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