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Applying Bayesian optimization with Gaussian process regression to computational fluid dynamics problems


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Bayesian optimization (BO) based on Gaussian process regression (GPR) is applied to different CFD (computational fluid dynamics) problems which can be of practical relevance. The problems are i) shape optimization in a lid-driven cavity to minimize or maximize the energy dissipation, ii) shape optimization of the wall of a channel flow in order to obtain a desired pressure-gradient distribution along the edge of the turbulent boundary layer formed on the other wall, and finally, iii) optimization of the controlling parameters of a spoiler-ice model to attain the aerodynamic characteristics of the airfoil with an actual surface ice. The diversity of the optimization problems, independence of the optimization approach from any adjoint information, the ease of employing different CFD solvers in the optimization loop, and more importantly, the relatively small number of the required flow simulations reveal the flexibility, efficiency, and versatility of the BO-GPR approach in CFD applications. It is shown that to ensure finding the global optimum of the design parameters of the size up to 8, less than 90executions of the CFD solvers are needed. Furthermore, it is observed that the number of flow simulations does not significantly increase with the number of design parameters. The associated computational cost of these simulations can be affordable for many optimization cases with practical relevance.