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Memory-efficient emulation of physical tabular data using quadtree decomposition


Carlson, Jared; Couch, Sean; OShea, Brian; Graziani, Carlo


Computationally expensive functions are sometimes replaced in simulations with an emulator that approx-imates the true function (e.g., equations of state, wavelength-dependent opacity, or composition-dependent materials properties). For functions that have a constrained domain of interest, this can be done by discretizing the domain and performing a local interpolation on the tabulated function values of each local domain. For these so-called tabular data methods, the method of discretizing the domain and mapping the input space to each subdomain can drastically influence the memory and computational costs of the emulator. This is especially true for functions that vary drastically in different regions. We present a method for domain discretization and mapping that utilizes quadtrees, which results in significant reductions in the size of the emulator with minimal increases to computational costs or loss of global accuracy. We apply our method to the electron-positron Helmholtz free energy equation of state and show over an order of magnitude reduction in memory costs for reasonable levels of numerical accuracy.