Multilevel Surrogate-based Control Variates - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2024

Multilevel Surrogate-based Control Variates


Monte Carlo (MC) sampling is a popular method for estimating the statistics (e.g. expectation and variance) of a random variable. Its slow convergence has led to the emergence of advanced techniques to reduce the variance of the MC estimator for the outputs of computationally expensive solvers. The control variates (CV) method corrects the MC estimator with a term derived from auxiliary random variables that are highly correlated with the original random variable. These auxiliary variables may come from surrogate models. Such a surrogate-based CV strategy is extended here to the multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) framework, which relies on a sequence of levels corresponding to numerical simulators with increasing accuracy and computational cost. MLMC combines output samples obtained across levels, into a telescopic sum of differences between MC estimators for successive fidelities. In this paper, we introduce three multilevel variance reduction strategies that rely on surrogate-based CV and MLMC. MLCV is presented as an extension of CV where the correction terms devised from surrogate models for simulators of different levels add up. MLMC-CV improves the MLMC estimator by using a CV based on a surrogate of the correction term at each level. Further variance reduction is achieved by using the surrogate-based CVs of all the levels in the MLMC-MLCV strategy. Alternative solutions that reduce the subset of surrogates used for the multilevel estimation are also introduced. The proposed methods are tested on a test case from the literature consisting of a spectral discretization of an uncertain 1D heat equation, where the statistic of interest is the expected value of the integrated temperature along the domain at a given time. The results are assessed in terms of the accuracy and computational cost of the multilevel estimators, depending on whether the construction of the surrogates, and the associated computational cost, precede the evaluation of the estimator. It was shown that when the lower fidelity outputs are strongly correlated with the high-fidelity outputs, a significant variance reduction is obtained when using surrogate models for the coarser levels only. It was also shown that taking advantage of pre-existing surrogate models proves to be an even more efficient strategy.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
MLMCV.pdf (1.05 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-04129561 , version 1 (15-06-2023)
hal-04129561 , version 2 (18-06-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04129561 , version 2


Mohamed Reda El Amri, Paul Mycek, Sophie Ricci, Matthias De Lozzo. Multilevel Surrogate-based Control Variates. 2024. ⟨hal-04129561v2⟩
103 View
27 Download


Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More