Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In reduced-order modeling, complex systems that exhibit high state-space dimensionality are described and evolved using a small number of parameters. These parameters can be obtained in a data-driven way, where a high-dimensional dataset is projected onto a lower-dimensional basis. A complex system is then restricted to states on a low-dimensional manifold where it can be efficiently modeled. While this approach brings computational benefits, obtaining a good quality of the manifold topology becomes a crucial aspect when models, such as nonlinear regression, are built on top of the manifold. Here, we present a quantitative metric for characterizing manifold topologies. Our metric pays attention to non-uniqueness and spatial gradients in physical quantities of interest, and can be applied to manifolds of arbitrary dimensionality. Using the metric as a cost function in optimization algorithms, we show that optimized low-dimensional projections can be found. We delineate a few applications of the cost function to datasets representing argon plasma, reacting flows and atmospheric pollutant dispersion. We demonstrate how the cost function can assess various dimensionality reduction and manifold learning techniques as well as data preprocessing strategies in their capacity to yield quality low-dimensional projections. We show that improved manifold topologies can facilitate building nonlinear regression models.