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Uncertainty and Computer Models

Stochastic Modeling and Environmental Change

  1. Stephan R. Sain

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn071

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Sain, S. R. 2013. Uncertainty and Computer Models. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 6.

Author Information

  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


With the explosion of computing power in recent years, computer models have become important tools for scientists to study the behavior of different phenomena as well as for prediction and decision making. However, there are many sources of uncertainty in computer models that can have significant impact on what is learned from such models. The field of uncertainty quantification, which combines elements from statistics, applied mathematics, and computational science, is emerging to provide tools to better understand, quantify, and mitigate the many uncertainties in computer models, and this article covers some of the key issues and problems facing researchers in this area.


  • forward problem;
  • inverse problem;
  • Gaussian process emulator;
  • multimodel ensembles;
  • climate model