Breaking structure – why randomized sampling matters

Felix J. Herrmann

Felix J. Herrmann
Seismic Laboratory for Imaging and Modelling, Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, the University of British Columbia

Monday, January 27th, 2014 – 11:30 AM MST
Telus Convention Centre – 8th Ave SE, Calgary


During this talk, I will explain how ideas from compressive sensing and big data can be used to reduce costs of seismic data acquisition and wave-equation based inversion. The key idea is to explore structure within the data by deliberately breaking this structure with randomized sampling, e.g., by randomizing source/receiver positions or by source encoding, followed by an optimization procedure that restores the structure and therefore recovers the fully sampled data. These techniques not only underpin recent advances in missing trace interpolation and simultaneous acquisition but they are also responsible for significant improvements in full-waveform inversion and reverse-time migration. We will illustrate these concepts using a variety of compelling examples on realistic synthetics and field data.


Felix J. Herrmann received his Ph.D. degree in Engineering Physics from the Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) in 1997. Felix was a visiting scholar at Stanford's Mathematics Department in 1998, a post-doctoral fellow at MIT's Earth Resources Laboratory from 1999 to 2002, and a senior Fellow at the UCLA's Institute for Pure and Applies Mathematics in 2004. Felix is currently professor at the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of British Columbia. Felix is director of the UBC-Seismic Laboratory for Imaging and Modeling (SLIM), which he founded in 2003. His research interests include theoretical and applied aspects of exploration seismology, compressive sensing, and large-scale optimization. Felix is the principal investigator of the industry- and NSERC-supported research programs SINBAD and DNOISE. Felix serves as a deputy editor of Geophysical Prospecting and on advisory boards of the UBC-Pacific institute for the Mathematical Sciences, the UBC-Institute for Applied Mathematics, and on the Academic Advisory Committee of the Harbin Institute of Technology (China). Felix is a member of the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE); the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG); the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG); the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the American Geophysical Union (AGU).