New Information Processing Methods for Control in Fusion

Magnetic confinement fusion devices are very integrated systems, difficult to access for measurement, and therefore they pose particular challenges to identification and to the prediction of undesired events. With regard to system identification, Bayesian statistics is a very promising methodology, which provides for the first time a sound way to include physical information about the diagnostics in the evaluation of the error bars. In a prototypical application, a Bayesian statistical approach determines the magnetic topology without any assumption on the equilibrium and provides clear confidence intervals on all the derived quantities. This technique, which complements another more traditional approach based on the Grad-Shafranov equation, can be implemented to provide results about every few milliseconds and therefore it can be envisaged to exploit for feedback purposes. Some phenomena in the evolution of Tokamak plasmas, like disruptions, are too dangerous and prohibitively difficult to control. For these cases avoidance is the best alternative and therefore specific classifiers have been trained and optimised to predict the occurrence of disruptions. The success rates of these predictors, mainly based on Support Vector Machines, are very often of the order or higher than 90%. The generalisation capability of the method has been confirmed by applying the same predictor to new campaigns without retraining. The success rate remains very high (above 80%) even 12 campaigns after the last one used for training
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