Machine learning (ML) methods, which fit to data the parameters of a given parameterized model class, have garnered significant interest as potential methods for learning surrogate models for complex engineering systems for which traditional simulation is expensive. However, in many scientific and engineering settings, generating high-fidelity data on which to train ML models is expensive, and the available budget for generating training data is limited. ML models trained on the resulting scarce high-fidelity data have high variance and are sensitive to vagaries of the training data set. We propose a new multifidelity training approach for scientific machine learning that exploits the scientific context where data of varying fidelities and costs are available; for example high-fidelity data may be generated by an expensive fully resolved physics simulation whereas lower-fidelity data may arise from a cheaper model based on simplifying assumptions. We use the multifidelity data to define new multifidelity Monte Carlo estimators for the unknown parameters of linear regression models, and provide theoretical analyses that guarantee the approach’s accuracy and improved robustness to small training budgets. Numerical results verify the theoretical analysis and demonstrate that multifidelity learned models trained on scarce high-fidelity data and additional low-fidelity data achieve order-of-magnitude lower model variance than standard models trained on only high-fidelity data of comparable cost. This illustrates that in the scarce data regime, our multifidelity training strategy yields models with lower expected error than standard training approaches.

Authors: Elizabeth Qian, Anirban Chaudhuri, Dayoung Kang, **Vignesh Sella**