2021 journal article
Towards improving the predictive capability of computer simulations by integrating inverse Uncertainty Quantification and quantitative validation with Bayesian hypothesis testing
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 383.
The Best Estimate plus Uncertainty (BEPU) approach for nuclear systems modeling and simulation requires that the prediction uncertainty must be quantified in order to prove that the investigated design stays within acceptance criteria. A rigorous Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) process should simultaneously consider multiple sources of quantifiable uncertainties: (1) parameter uncertainty due to randomness or lack of knowledge; (2) experimental uncertainty due to measurement noise; (3) model uncertainty caused by missing/incomplete physics and numerical approximation errors, and (4) code uncertainty when surrogate models are used. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive framework to integrate results from inverse UQ and quantitative validation to provide robust predictions so that all these sources of uncertainties can be taken into consideration. Inverse UQ quantifies the parameter uncertainties based on experimental data while taking into account uncertainties from model, code and measurement. In the validation step, we use a quantitative validation metric based on Bayesian hypothesis testing. The resulting metric, called the Bayes factor, is then used to form weighting factors to combine the prior and posterior knowledge of the parameter uncertainties in a Bayesian model averaging process. In this way, model predictions will be able to integrate the results from inverse UQ and validation to account for all available sources of uncertainties. This framework is a step towards addressing the ANS Nuclear Grand Challenge on "Simulation/Experimentation" by bridging the gap between models and data.