A parameterization analysis for acoustic full-waveform inversion of sub-wavelength anomalies


In the case of multi-parameter full-waveform inversion, the computation of the additional Hessian terms that contain derivatives with respect to more than one type of parameter is necessary. If a simple gradient-based minimization is used, different choices of parameterization can be interpreted as different preconditioners that change the condition number of the Hessian. If the non-linear inverse problem is well-posed, then the inversion should converge to a band-limited version of the true solution irrespective of the parameterization choice, provided we start sufficiently close to the global minimum. However, the choice of parameterization will affect the rate of convergence to the exact solution and the best choice of parameterization is the one with the fastest rate. In this paper, we search for the best choice for acoustic multi-parameter full-waveform inversion, where 1. anomalies with a size less than a quarter of the dominant wavelength have to be estimated without the risk of converging to a local minimum; 2. the scattered wavefield is recorded at all the scattering angles; 3. a steepest-descent minimization scheme is used. Our examples suggest that the best choice of parameterization depends on the contrast of the subsurface scatterer that the inversion tries to estimate. Based on the results, we observe that there is no best parameterization choice for full-waveform inversion. We also observe that a parameterization using the acoustic impedance and mass density has the worst convergence rate. Finally, we also show that the parameterization analysis during a hierarchical inversion, where the data have limited scattering angles, only helps to select a subspace for mono-parameter inversion. For multi-parameter hierarchical inversion, the search for the best parameterization in terms of the convergence speed might be obfuscated by non-uniqueness problems.

arXiv preprint arXiv:1804.01184