Using Markov Models of Fault Growth Physics and Environmental Stresses to Optimize Control Actions
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A generalized Markov chain representation of fault dynamics is presented for the case that available modeling of fault growth physics and future environmental stresses can be represented by two independent stochastic process models. A contrived but representatively challenging example will be presented and analyzed, in which uncertainty in the modeling of fault growth physics is represented by a uniformly distributed dice throwing process, and a discrete random walk is used to represent uncertain modeling of future exogenous loading demands to be placed on the system. A finite horizon dynamic programming algorithm is used to solve for an optimal control policy over a finite time window for the case that stochastic models representing physics of failure and future environmental stresses are known, and the states of both stochastic processes are observable by implemented control routines. The fundamental limitations of optimization performed in the presence of uncertain modeling information are examined by comparing the outcomes obtained from simulations of an optimizing control policy with the outcomes that would be achievable if all modeling uncertainties were removed from the system.