- Towards a comprehensive assessment of model structural adequacy
- Water Resources Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 48 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The past decade has seen significant progress in characterizing uncertainty in environmental systems models, through statistical treatment of incomplete knowledge regarding parameters, model structure, and observational data. Attention has now turned to the issue of model structural adequacy (MSA, a term we prefer over model structure "error"). In reviewing philosophical perspectives from the groundwater, unsaturated zone, terrestrial hydrometeorology, and surface water communities about how to model the terrestrial hydrosphere, we identify several areas where different subcommunities can learn from each other. In this paper, we (a) propose a consistent and systematic "unifying conceptual framework" consisting of five formal steps for comprehensive assessment of MSA; (b) discuss the need for a pluralistic definition of adequacy; (c) investigate how MSA has been addressed in the literature; and (d) identify four important issues that require detailed attention—structured model evaluation, diagnosis of epistemic cause, attention to appropriate model complexity, and a multihypothesis approach to inference. We believe that there exists tremendous scope to collectively improve the scientific fidelity of our models and that the proposed framework can help to overcome barriers to communication. By doing so, we can make better progress toward addressing the question "How can we use data to detect, characterize, and resolve model structural inadequacies?"
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.