Learned Global Optimization for Inverse Scattering Problems -- Matching Global Search with Computational Efficiency
The computationally-efficient solution of fully non-linear microwave inverse scattering problems (ISPs) is addressed. An innovative System-by-Design (SbD) based method is proposed to enable, for the first time to the best of the authors knowledge, an effective, robust, and time-efficient exploitation of an evolutionary algorithm (EA) to perform the global minimization of the data-mismatch cost function. According to the SbD paradigm as suitably applied to ISPs, the proposed approach founds on (i) a smart re-formulation of the ISP based on the definition of a minimum-dimensionality and representative set of degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) and on (ii) the artificial-intelligence (AI)-driven integration of a customized global search technique with a digital twin (DT) predictor based on the Gaussian Process (GP) theory. Representative numerical and experimental results are provided to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of the proposed approach also in comparison with competitive state-of-the-art inversion techniques.