Multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments are often used for study of molecular structure and dynamics of matter in core analysis and reservoir evaluation. Industrial applications of multi-dimensional NMR involve a high-dimensional measurement dataset with complicated correlation structure and require rapid and stable inversion algorithms from the time domain to the relaxation rate and/or diffusion domains. In practice, applying existing inverse algorithms with a large number of parameter values leads to an infinite number of solutions with a reasonable fit to the NMR data. The interpretation of such variability of multiple solutions and selection of the most appropriate solution could be a very complex problem. In most cases the characteristics of materials have sparse signatures, and investigators would like to distinguish the most significant relaxation and diffusion values of the materials.
To produce an easy to interpret and unique NMR distribution with the finite number of the principal parameter values, we introduce a new method for NMR inversion. The method is constructed based on the trade-off between the conventional goodness-of-fit approach to multivariate data and the principle of parsimony guaranteeing inversion with the least number of parameter values. We suggest performing the inversion of NMR data using the forward stepwise regression selection algorithm. To account for the trade-off between goodness-of-fit and parsimony, the objective function is selected based on Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). The performance of the developed multi-dimensional NMR inversion method and its comparison with conventional methods are illustrated using real data for samples with bitumen, water and clay.