A turbulent eddy-viscosity surrogate modeling framework for Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations

Romit Maulik, Himanshu Sharma, Saumil Patel, Bethany Lusch, Elise Jennings

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44 Scopus citations


The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations for steady-state assessment of incompressible turbulent flows remain the workhorse for practical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications. Consequently, improvements in speed or accuracy have the potential to affect a diverse range of applications. We introduce a machine learning framework for the surrogate modeling of steady-state turbulent eddy viscosities for RANS simulations, given the initial conditions. This modeling strategy is assessed for parametric interpolation, while numerically solving for the pressure and velocity equations to steady state, thus representing a framework that is hybridized with machine learning. We achieve competitive steady-state results with a significant reduction in solution time when compared to those obtained by the Spalart–Allmaras one-equation model. This is because the proposed methodology allows for considerably larger relaxation factors for the steady-state velocity and pressure solvers. Our assessments are made for a backward-facing step with considerable mesh anisotropy and separation to represent a practical CFD application. For test experiments with either varying inlet velocity conditions or step heights we see time-to-solution reductions around a factor of 5. The results represent an opportunity for the rapid exploration of parameter spaces that prove prohibitive when utilizing turbulence closure models with multiple coupled partial differential equations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104777
JournalComputers and Fluids
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering

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