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Title: Verifying and Validating Simulation Models

This presentation is a high-level discussion of the Verification and Validation (V&V) of computational models. Definitions of V&V are given to emphasize that “validation” is never performed in a vacuum; it accounts, instead, for the current state-of-knowledge in the discipline considered. In particular comparisons between physical measurements and numerical predictions should account for their respective sources of uncertainty. The differences between error (bias), aleatoric uncertainty (randomness) and epistemic uncertainty (ignorance, lack-of- knowledge) are briefly discussed. Four types of uncertainty in physics and engineering are discussed: 1) experimental variability, 2) variability and randomness, 3) numerical uncertainty and 4) model-form uncertainty. Statistical sampling methods are available to propagate, and analyze, variability and randomness. Numerical uncertainty originates from the truncation error introduced by the discretization of partial differential equations in time and space. Model-form uncertainty is introduced by assumptions often formulated to render a complex problem more tractable and amenable to modeling and simulation. The discussion concludes with high-level guidance to assess the “credibility” of numerical simulations, which stems from the level of rigor with which these various sources of uncertainty are assessed and quantified.
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Mathematics & Computing(97)