CSDMS 2015 annual Meeting - Models meet data, data meet models

WMT and the Dakota iterative systems analysis toolkit

Mark Piper

University of Colorado, Boulder, United States
Eric Hutton University of Colorado, Boulder United States

Dakota ( is an open-source software toolkit, designed and developed at Sandia National Laboratories, that provides a library of iterative systems analysis methods, including sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, optimization, and parameter estimation. Dakota can be used to answer questions such as:
  • What are the important parameters in my model?
  • How safe, robust, and reliable is my model?
  • What parameter values best match my observational data?

Dakota has been installed on the CSDMS supercomputer,, and is available to all registered users. The full set of Dakota methods can be invoked from the command line on beach; however, this requires detailed knowledge of Dakota, including how to set up a Dakota input file and how to pass parameters and responses between a model and Dakota. To make Dakota more accessible to the CSDMS community, a subset of its functionality has been configured to run through the CSDMS Web Modeling Tool (WMT; WMT currently provides access to Dakota's vector, centered, and multidimensional parameter study methods.

In this clinic, we'll provide an overview of Dakota, then, through WMT, set up and perform a series of numerical experiments with Dakota on beach, and evaluate the results.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Marine Working Group
  • Education and Knowledge Transfer (EKT) Working Group
  • Cyberinformatics and Numerics Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • Carbonates and Biogenics Focus Research Group
  • Chesapeake Focus Research Group
  • Critical Zone Focus Research Group
  • Human Dimensions Focus Research Group
  • Geodynamics Focus Research Group
  • Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group