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Sensitivity analysis for hydraulic models

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jim Hall, Dr Yanyan Wang, Professor Richard Dawson



Sensitivity analysis is well recognized as being an important aspect of the responsible use of hydraulic models. This paper reviews a range of methods for sensitivity analysis. Two applications, one to a simple pipe bend example and the second to an advanced Shallow Water Equation solver, illustrate the deficiencies of standardized regression coefficients in the context of functionally nonlinear models. Derivatives and other local methods of sensitivity analysis are shown to give an incomplete picture of model response over the range of variability in the model inputs. The use of global variance-based sensitivity analysis is shown to be more general in its applicability and in its capacity to reflect nonlinear processes and the effects of interactions among variables.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hall JW, Boyce SA, Wang YL, Dawson RJ, Tarantola S, Saltelli A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering

Year: 2009

Volume: 135

Issue: 11

Pages: 959-969

Date deposited: 11/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0733-9429

ISSN (electronic): 1943-7900

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000098


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