doi abstract bibtex

This article develops a general framework for identifying error and uncertainty in computational simulations that deal with the numerical solution of a set of partial differential equations (PDEs). A comprehensive, new view of the general phases of modeling and simulation is proposed, consisting of the following phases: conceptual modeling of the physical system, mathematical modeling of the conceptual model, discretization and algorithm selection for the mathematical model, computer programming of the discrete model, numerical solution of the computer program model, and representation of the numerical solution. Our view incorporates the modeling and simulation phases that are recognized in the systems engineering and operations research communities, but it adds phases that are specific to the numerical solution of PDEs. In each of these phases, general sources of uncertainty, both aleatory and epistemic, and error are identified. Our general framework is applicable to any numerical discretization procedure for solving ODEs or PDEs. To demonstrate this framework, we describe a system-level example: the flight of an unguided, rocket-boosted, aircraft-launched missile. This example is discussed in detail at each of the six phases of modeling and simulation. Two alternative models of the flight dynamics are considered, along with aleatory uncertainty of the initial mass of the missile and epistemic uncertainty in the thrust of the rocket motor. We also investigate the interaction of modeling uncertainties and numerical integration error in the solution of the ordinary differential equations for the flight dynamics.

@article{oberkampfErrorUncertaintyModeling2002, title = {Error and Uncertainty in Modeling and Simulation}, author = {Oberkampf, William L. and DeLand, Sharon M. and Rutherford, Brian M. and Diegert, Kathleen V. and Alvin, Kenneth F.}, year = {2002}, month = mar, volume = {75}, pages = {333--357}, issn = {0951-8320}, doi = {10.1016/s0951-8320(01)00120-x}, abstract = {This article develops a general framework for identifying error and uncertainty in computational simulations that deal with the numerical solution of a set of partial differential equations (PDEs). A comprehensive, new view of the general phases of modeling and simulation is proposed, consisting of the following phases: conceptual modeling of the physical system, mathematical modeling of the conceptual model, discretization and algorithm selection for the mathematical model, computer programming of the discrete model, numerical solution of the computer program model, and representation of the numerical solution. Our view incorporates the modeling and simulation phases that are recognized in the systems engineering and operations research communities, but it adds phases that are specific to the numerical solution of PDEs. In each of these phases, general sources of uncertainty, both aleatory and epistemic, and error are identified. Our general framework is applicable to any numerical discretization procedure for solving ODEs or PDEs. To demonstrate this framework, we describe a system-level example: the flight of an unguided, rocket-boosted, aircraft-launched missile. This example is discussed in detail at each of the six phases of modeling and simulation. Two alternative models of the flight dynamics are considered, along with aleatory uncertainty of the initial mass of the missile and epistemic uncertainty in the thrust of the rocket motor. We also investigate the interaction of modeling uncertainties and numerical integration error in the solution of the ordinary differential equations for the flight dynamics.}, journal = {Reliability Engineering \& System Safety}, keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-6210431,complexity,computational-science,modelling,software-engineering,software-errors,software-uncertainty}, lccn = {INRMM-MiD:c-6210431}, number = {3} }

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