Neutron inverse kinetics via Gaussian Processes

Paolo Picca, Roberto Furfaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The paper introduces the application of Gaussian Processes (GPs) to determine the subcriticality level in accelerator-driven systems (ADSs) through the interpretation of pulsed experiment data. ADSs have peculiar kinetic properties due to their special core design. For this reason, classical - inversion techniques based on point kinetic (PK) generally fail to generate an accurate estimate of reactor subcriticality. Similarly to Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), Gaussian Processes can be successfully trained to learn the underlying inverse neutron kinetic model and, as such, they are not limited to the model choice. Importantly, GPs are strongly rooted into the Bayes' theorem which makes them a powerful tool for statistical inference. Here, GPs have been designed and trained on a set of kinetics models (e.g. point kinetics and multi-point kinetics) for homogeneous and heterogeneous settings. The results presented in the paper show that GPs are very efficient and accurate in predicting the reactivity for ADS-like systems. The variance computed via GPs may provide an indication on how to generate additional data as function of the desired accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Accelerator-driven systems
  • Gaussian Processes
  • Inverse problems
  • Reactivity determination
  • Reactor kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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