Perspectives on Verification, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification

IAM-PIMS Distinguished Colloquium
November 14, 2014 11:00 pm

Speaker:  Dr. William L. Oberkampf, Consulting Engineer, Austin, Texas

Location:  LSK 301

Intended Audience:  Public

Verification and validation (V&V) are the primary means to assess mathematical model and numerical accuracy in computational simulations. Code verification deals with the assessment of the reliability of the software coding and the numerical algorithms used, while solution verification deals with numerical error estimation of the computational solution to the mathematical model. Validation assesses the accuracy of the mathematical model as compared to an appropriate fiducial reference. In the natural sciences, this reference is commonly experimental measurements of the system of interest. Uncertainty quantification attempts to characterize the uncertainties represented by, and due to, the mathematical model, the numerical solution error, and the experimental data. Important research questions in uncertainty quantification deal with (a) model updating and calibration, as opposed to predictive uncertainty estimation, (b) estimation of model form uncertainty for cases where experimental data are available, and (c) extrapolation of estimated model form uncertainty to conditions for which no experimental data are available. This talk will briefly discuss all of these issues within the framework of how computational simulations are used in a decision-making environment.

William L. Oberkampf received his PhD in 1970 from the University of Notre Dame in Aerospace Engineering. He has 41 years of experience in research and development in fluid dynamics, heat transfer, flight dynamics, and solid mechanics. He served on the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin from 1970 to 1979. From 1979 until 2007 he worked in both staff and management positions at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his career he has been deeply involved in both computational simulation and experimental activities. During the last 20 years he has been focused on verification, validation, uncertainty quantification, and risk analyses in modeling and simulation. He retired from Sandia as Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has over 160 journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and technical reports, and has taught 35 short courses in the field of verification and validation. He recently co-authored, with Christopher Roy, the book “Verification and Validation in Scientific Computing” published by Cambridge University Press.