Parsimonious Catchment and River Flow Modelling


Khatibi, R.H. and Moore, R.J. and Booij, M.J. and Cadman, D. and Boyce, G. (2002) Parsimonious Catchment and River Flow Modelling. In: A.E. Rizzoli & A.J. Jakeman (Eds.), Integrated Assessment and Decision Support. Proc. First Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (Vol. I), 24-27 June 2002, Lugano, Switzerland. , pp. 399-404.

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Abstract:It is increasingly the case that models are being developed as “evolving” products rather than
one-off application tools, such that auditable modelling versus ad hoc treatment of models becomes a
pivotal issue. Auditable modelling is particularly vital to “parsimonious modelling” aimed at meeting
specific modelling requirements. This paper outlines various contributory factors and aims to seed
proactively a research topic by inextricably linking value/risk management to parsimonious modelling.
Value management in modelling may be implemented in terms of incorporating “enough detail” into a
model so that the synergy among the constituent units of the model captures that of the real system. It is a
problem of diminishing returns, since further reductions in the constituent units will create an
unacceptable difference between the model and the real system; conversely, any further detail will add to
the cost of modelling without returning any significant benefit. The paper also defines risk management
in relation to modelling. It presents a qualitative framework for value/risk management towards
parsimonious modelling by the categorisation of “modelling techniques” in terms of “control volume.”
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