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Communicating uncertainty: design patterns for framing model results in scientific publications

Guillaume, Joseph H.A.; El Sawah, Sondoss; Jakeman, Anthony; Kummu, Matti

Description

Uncertainty is a prominent issue in modelling. We learn early in our studies that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” We also learn accompanying techniques for quantifying performance, and methods for addressing uncertainty within our analyses. When it comes to publishing our results, communicating uncertainty appears to be part of the craft side of modelling, one that we learn best by experience. Sooner or later, we discover that reviewers (and the reader) are willing to accept...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorGuillaume, Joseph H.A.
dc.contributor.authorEl Sawah, Sondoss
dc.contributor.authorJakeman, Anthony
dc.contributor.authorKummu, Matti
dc.contributor.editorWeber, T.
dc.contributor.editorMcPhee, M.J.
dc.contributor.editorAnderssen, R.S.
dc.coverage.spatialGold Coast
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-30T01:19:46Z
dc.date.available2018-11-30T01:19:46Z
dc.date.createdNovember 29-December 4 2015
dc.identifier.isbn9780987214355
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/154187
dc.description.abstractUncertainty is a prominent issue in modelling. We learn early in our studies that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” We also learn accompanying techniques for quantifying performance, and methods for addressing uncertainty within our analyses. When it comes to publishing our results, communicating uncertainty appears to be part of the craft side of modelling, one that we learn best by experience. Sooner or later, we discover that reviewers (and the reader) are willing to accept limitations of our modelling if we use certain key phrases (e.g. “left to future work”) or subtly change our wording (e.g. “seems to indicate” vs. “proves”). Our writing effectively frames the model results, implicitly conveying the author’s judgement about model uncertainty, confidence about results and shaping the reader’s expectations of how the model may be wrong and how it is still useful. While it does not appear to have been broached in the literature on uncertainty in modelling, the framing of model results appears to be one of the primary means by which modellers have addressed uncertainty, and specifically communication of uncertainty, within scientific publications. It is one of the core practices that new modellers need to learn to ensure that their model-based analyses are considered to be credible and useful. Unfortunately, this practice cannot be easily distilled into an algorithm, method or recipe. As with other aspects of the ‘art’ of modelling, there does however appear to be some knowledge that should ideally be transferable
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherThe Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc.
dc.relation.ispartofseries21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM2015)
dc.sourceMODSIM2015, 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
dc.source.urihttp://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2015/index.html
dc.titleCommunicating uncertainty: design patterns for framing model results in scientific publications
dc.typeConference paper
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor080110 - Simulation and Modelling
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4279067xPUB1631
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationGuillaume, Joseph H.A., Aalto University
local.contributor.affiliationEl Sawah, Sondoss, University of New South Wales
local.contributor.affiliationJakeman, Anthony , College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationKummu, Matti, Aalto University
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1972
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1978
local.identifier.doi.36334/modsim.2015.k13.guillaume
local.identifier.absseo960900 - LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT
dc.date.updated2021-08-01T08:34:31Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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