Characterising performance of environmental models

Bennett, Neil D., Croke, Barry F.W., Guariso, Giorgio, Guillaume, Joseph H.A., Hamilton, Serena H., Jakeman, Anthony J., Marsili-Libelli, Stefano, Newham, Lachlan T.H., Norton, John P., Perrin, Charles, Pierce, Suzanne A., Robson, Barbara, Seppelt, Ralf, Voinov, Alexey A., Fath, Brian D., and Andreassian, Vazken (2013) Characterising performance of environmental models. Environmental Modelling and Software, 40. pp. 1-20.

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Abstract

In order to use environmental models effectively for management and decision-making, it is vital to establish an appropriate level of confidence in their performance. This paper reviews techniques available across various fields for characterising the performance of environmental models with focus on numerical, graphical and qualitative methods. General classes of direct value comparison, coupling real and modelled values, preserving data patterns, indirect metrics based on parameter values, and data transformations are discussed. In practice environmental modelling requires the use and implementation of workflows that combine several methods, tailored to the model purpose and dependent upon the data and information available. A five-step procedure for performance evaluation of models is suggested, with the key elements including: (i) (re)assessment of the model's aim, scale and scope; (ii) characterisation of the data for calibration and testing; (iii) visual and other analysis to detect under- or non-modelled behaviour and to gain an overview of overall performance; (iv) selection of basic performance criteria; and (v) consideration of more advanced methods to handle problems such as systematic divergence between modelled and observed values.

Item ID: 58039
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6726
Keywords: Model development, Model evaluation, Performance indicators, Model testing, Sensitivity analysis
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 09:22
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling @ 80%
08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080110 Simulation and Modelling @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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