Hyperparameter optimization approaches were applied to improve performance and accuracy of groundwater flow models. Freely available new software, NWTOPT, is described that uses Tree of Parzen Estimators (TPE) and Random Search algorithms to optimize MODFLOW-NWTs solver settings. We ran 3500 trials on a steady-state and transient model. To quantify the performance of candidate solver settings, we defined a loss function based on time elapsed and mass balance error of the MODFLOW-NWT forward run. Before optimization the steady- state model ran in ~12 min and the transient model ran in ~5 h with acceptable mass balance error (<1%). After optimization runtimes were reduced to ~2.7 min (steady state) and ~48 min (transient) with errors below 0.1%. In both cases TPE found hyperparameters that resulted in faster running and lower error models than those found by Random Search. The time to complete the optimization trials was also shorter with the TPE algorithm.
|Title||NWTOPT — A hyperparameter optimization approach for selection of environmental model solver settings|
|Authors||Max William Newcomer, Randall J. Hunt|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Environmental Modelling and Software|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Upper Midwest Water Science Center|