CSDMS 2017 annual meeting: Modeling Coupled Earth and Human Systems - The Dynamic Duo

Model sensitivity analysis and optimization with Dakota and Landlab

Katy Barnhart

University of Colorado, Boulder, United States
Charles Shobe University of Colorado, Boulder United States
Greg Tucker University of Colorado, Boulder United States
Mark Piper University of Colorado, Boulder United States

Dakota is a flexible toolkit with algorithms for parameter optimization, uncertainty quantification, parameter estimation, and sensitivity analysis. In this clinic we will work through examples of using Dakota to compare field observations with model output using methods of sensitivity analysis and parameter optimization. We will also 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 are encouraged to install both Landlab and Dakota on their computers prior to the clinic. 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