Methods for Uncertainty Analysis: A Comparative Survey

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Abstract

This paper presents a survey and comparative evaluation of methods which have been developed for the determination of uncertainties in accident consequences and probabilities, for use in probabilistic risk assessment. The methods considered are: analytic techniques, Monte Carlo simulation, response surface approaches, differential sensitivity techniques, and evaluation of classical statistical confidence bounds. It is concluded that only the response surface and differential sensitivity approaches are sufficiently general and flexible for use as overall methods of uncertainty analysis in probabilistic risk assessment. The other methods considered, however, are very useful in particular problems.

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