Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems

1st Edition

Authors: Richard C. Aster Brian Borchers Clifford H. Thurber
Hardcover ISBN: 9780120656042
eBook ISBN: 9780080470559
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th December 2004
Page Count: 320
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Institutional Access


Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems primarily serves as a textbook for advanced undergraduate and introductory graduate courses. Class notes have been developed and reside on the World Wide Web for faciliting use and feedback by teaching colleagues.

The authors' treatment promotes an understanding of fundamental and practical issus associated with parameter fitting and inverse problems including basic theory of inverse problems, statistical issues, computational issues, and an understanding of how to analyze the success and limitations of solutions to these probles. The text is also a practical resource for general students and professional researchers, where techniques and concepts can be readily picked up on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems is structured around a course at New Mexico Tech and is designed to be accessible to typical graduate students in the physical sciences who may not have an extensive mathematical background. It is accompanied by a Web site that contains Matlab code corresponding to all examples.

Key Features

  • Designed to be accessible to graduate students and professionals in physical sciences without an extensive mathematical background
  • Includes three appendices for review of linear algebra and crucial concepts in statistics
  • Battle-tested in courses at several universities *MATLAB exercises facilitate exploration of material


Students and professionals in Astrophysics, Applied Mathematics, Atmospheric Science, Geologiocal Engineering, Geophysics, Hydrology, Oceanography and related fields.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Linear Regression
  3. Discretizing Continuous Inverse Problems
  4. Rank Deficiency and Ill-Conditioning
  5. Tikhonov Regularization
  6. Iterative Methods
  7. Other Regularization Techniques
  8. Fourier Techniques
  9. Nonlinear Regression
  10. Nonlinear Inverse Problems
  11. Bayesian Methods Appendix A: Review of Linear Algebra Appendix B: Review of Probability and Statistics Appendix C: Glossary of Notation Bibliography Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2005
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
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About the Author

Richard C. Aster

Affiliations and Expertise

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, USA

Brian Borchers

Affiliations and Expertise

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, USA

Clifford H. Thurber

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


"...a very useful textbook at undergraduate and graduate-level courses teaching the numerical techniques used in parameter will certainly be a very useful reference also for practitioners who need a guide in selecting the proper mathematical approach when solving real problems, not only in geophysics, but also other branches of science and engineering." -Wojciech Debski, Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences "The great strength of this book is that it is a 'one-shop-stop' for solving inverse problems; it contains many different methods for solving your particular problems and, in general, all of the background mathematics to help you understand the method itself." -John Brittan, in THE LEADING EDGE, SEPT 2005 "The writing is uniformly clear; one unfamiliar with even the most basic ideas of inverse theory will find it ideal for self-study. ...I found the authors’ treatment of such concepts as existence, uniqueness, instability, resolution, and ill-posedness to be particularly succinct. They do a fine job in distinguishing the continuous from the discrete case, and they point out some of the pitfalls that can arise when going from one to the other, yet without becoming bogged down in sterile mathematical detail. ...This is an exceptionally well written introductory text which, for a change, is reasonably priced, placing it at least within reach of a college student." -Sven Treitel, The Leading Edge, March 2006 “This is a well designed textbook with a very clean approach [and] a fine introduction for inverse problems in applied fields. …The tone of the writing is conversational in a way that allows the ideas to come across clearly, while the content is mathematically rigorous, presenting details relevent to the topic and providing references for the rest.” -Paul Phillips