Holger R. Maier


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The Future of Sensitivity Analysis: An essential discipline for systems modeling and policy support
Saman Razavi, Anthony Jakeman, Andrea Saltelli, Clémentine Prieur, Bertrand Iooss, Emanuele Borgonovo, Elmar Plischke, Samuele Lo Piano, Takuya Iwanaga, William E. Becker, Stefano Tarantola, Joseph H. A. Guillaume, John Davis Jakeman, Hoshin Gupta, Nicola Melillo, Giovanni Rabitti, Vincent Chabridon, Qingyun Duan, Xifu Sun, Stefán Thor Smith, Razi Sheikholeslami, Nasim Hosseini, Masoud Asadzadeh, Arnald Puy, Sergei Kucherenko, Holger R. Maier
Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 137

Sensitivity analysis (SA) is en route to becoming an integral part of mathematical modeling. The tremendous potential benefits of SA are, however, yet to be fully realized, both for advancing mechanistic and data-driven modeling of human and natural systems, and in support of decision making. In this perspective paper, a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners revisit the current status of SA, and outline research challenges in regard to both theoretical frameworks and their applications to solve real-world problems. Six areas are discussed that warrant further attention, including (1) structuring and standardizing SA as a discipline, (2) realizing the untapped potential of SA for systems modeling, (3) addressing the computational burden of SA, (4) progressing SA in the context of machine learning, (5) clarifying the relationship and role of SA to uncertainty quantification, and (6) evolving the use of SA in support of decision making. An outlook for the future of SA is provided that underlines how SA must underpin a wide variety of activities to better serve science and society. • Sensitivity analysis (SA) should be promoted as an independent discipline. • Several grand challenges hinder full realization of the benefits of SA. • The potential of SA for systems modeling & machine learning is untapped. • New prospects exist for SA to support uncertainty quantification & decision making. • Coordination rather than consensus is key to cross-fertilize new ideas.


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Anthropocene flooding: Challenges for science and society
Saman Razavi, Patricia Gober, Holger R. Maier, Roy Brouwer, H. S. Wheater
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 8

Global Institute for Water Security, School of Environment and Sustainability, Department of Civil, Geological, and Environmental Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia Water Institute and Department of Economics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK


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Introductory overview: Optimization using evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics
Holger R. Maier, Saman Razavi, Zoran Kapelan, L. Shawn Matott, J. R. Kasprzyk, Bryan A. Tolson
Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 114

Environmental models are used extensively to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of design, planning, operational, management and policy options. However, the number of options that can be evaluated manually is generally limited, making it difficult to identify the most suitable options to consider in decision-making processes. By linking environmental models with evolutionary and other metaheuristic optimization algorithms, the decision options that make best use of scarce resources, achieve the best environmental outcomes for a given budget or provide the best trade-offs between competing objectives can be identified. This Introductory Overview presents reasons for embedding formal optimization approaches in environmental decision-making processes, details how environmental problems are formulated as optimization problems and outlines how single- and multi-objective optimization approaches find good solutions to environmental problems. Practical guidance and potential challenges are also provided.