|Water Science and Engineering 2018, 11(2) 89-100 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2018.06.001 ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV|
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Impacts of prior parameter distributions on Bayesian evaluation of groundwater model complexity
Saeideh Samani a, b, Ming Ye b, c, d, *, Fan Zhang e, Yong-zhen Pei c, Guo-ping Tang f, Ahmed Elshall b, Asghar A. Moghaddam a
a Department of Earth Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz 5166616471, Iran
This study used the marginal likelihood and Bayesian posterior model probability for evaluation of model complexity in order to avoid using over-complex models for numerical simulations. It focused on investigation of the impacts of prior parameter distributions (involved in calculating the marginal likelihood) on the evaluation of model complexity. We argue that prior parameter distributions should define the parameter space in which numerical simulations are made. New perspectives on the prior parameter distribution and posterior model probability were demonstrated in an example of groundwater solute transport modeling with four models, each simulating four column experiments. The models had different levels of complexity in terms of their model structures and numbers of calibrated parameters. The posterior model probability was evaluated for four cases with different prior parameter distributions. While the distributions substantially impacted model ranking, the model ranking in each case was reasonable for the specific circumstances in which numerical simulations were made. For evaluation of model complexity, it is thus necessary to determine the parameter spaces for modeling, which can be done by conducting numerical simulation and using engineering judgment based on understanding of the system being studied.
|Keywords： Marginal likelihood Posterior model probability Advection-dispersion equation Mobile-immobile model Groundwater model|
|Received 2017-09-14 Revised 2018-01-10 Online: 2018-04-30|
This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award (Grant No. DE-SC0008272) and U.S. National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1552329).
|Corresponding Authors: Ming Ye|
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