We combine the use of Gaussian mixture models, the EM algorithm and the Bayesian Information Criterion to accurately approximate distributions based on Monte Carlo data in a framework that allows for efficient Bayesian inference. We give detailed descriptions of each of these techniques, supporting their application by recent literature. One novelty of the GMM-DO filter lies in coupling these concepts with an efficient representation of the evolving probabilistic description of the uncertain dynamical field: the Dynamically Orthogonal field equations. By limiting our attention to a dominant evolving stochastic subspace of the total state space, we bridge an important gap previously identified in the literature caused by the dimensionality of the state space.
We successfully apply the GMM-DO filter to two test cases: (1) the Double Well Diffusion Experiment and (2) the Sudden Expansion fluid flow. With the former, we prove the validity of utilizing Gaussian mixture models, the EM algorithm and the Bayesian Information Criterion in a dynamical systems setting. With the application of the GMM-DO filter to the two-dimensional Sudden Expansion fluid flow, we further show its applicability to realistic test cases of non-trivial dimensionality. The GMM-DO filter is shown to consistently capture and retain the far-from-Gaussian statistics that arise, both prior and posterior to the assimilation of data, resulting in its superior performance over contemporary filters. We present the GMM-DO filter as an efficient, data-driven assimilation scheme, focused on a dominant evolving stochastic subspace of the total state space, that respects nonlinear dynamics and captures non-Gaussian statistics, obviating the use of heuristic arguments.