CSDMS 2018 annual meeting - Geoprocesses, geohazards

Model sensitivity analysis and optimization with Dakota and Landlab

Katy Barnhart

University of Colorado, United States

Dakota is a flexible toolkit with algorithms for parameter optimization, uncertainty quantification, parameter estimation, and sensitivity analysis. In this clinic we will cover the basics of the Dakota framework, work through examples of using Dakota to compare field observations with model output using methods of sensitivity analysis and parameter optimization, and briefly cover the theoretical background of the Dakota methods used. If time permits, we will examine how the choice of comparison metrics influences results. Methods will be presented in the context of the Landlab Earth-surface dynamics framework but are generalizable to other models. Participants who are not familiar with Landlab are encouraged (but not required) to sign up for the Landlab clinic, which will take place before this clinic.
Participants do not need to install Landlab or Dakota prior to the clinic but will need to sign up for a Hydroshare account.
For those students interested in installing Landlab or Dakota: Installation instructions for Landlab can be found at: (select "Install" from the menu bar at the top of the page). Installation instructions for Dakota can be found at

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Cyberinformatics and Numerics Working Group