Analyzing nuclear reactor simulation data and uncertainty with the group method of data handling

Majdi I. Radaideh, Tomasz Kozlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Group method of data handling (GMDH) is considered one of the earliest deep learning methods. Deep learning gained additional interest in today's applications due to its capability to handle complex and high dimensional problems. In this study, multi-layer GMDH networks are used to perform uncertainty quantification (UQ) and sensitivity analysis (SA) of nuclear reactor simulations. GMDH is utilized as a surrogate/metamodel to replace high fidelity computer models with cheap-to-evaluate surrogate models, which facilitate UQ and SA tasks (e.g. variance decomposition, uncertainty propagation, etc.). GMDH performance is validated through two UQ applications in reactor simulations: (1) low dimensional input space (two-phase flow in a reactor channel), and (2) high dimensional space (8-group homogenized cross-sections). In both applications, GMDH networks show very good performance with small mean absolute and squared errors as well as high accuracy in capturing the target variance. GMDH is utilized afterward to perform UQ tasks such as variance decomposition through Sobol indices, and GMDH-based uncertainty propagation with large number of samples. GMDH performance is also compared to other surrogates including Gaussian processes and polynomial chaos expansions. The comparison shows that GMDH has competitive performance with the other methods for the low dimensional problem, and reliable performance for the high dimensional problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Engineering and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Deep learning
  • GMDH
  • Reactor simulations
  • Surrogate modeling
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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