Numerical and visual evaluation of hydrological and environmental models using the Monte Carlo analysis toolbox

Thorsten Wagener, Joshua Kollat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


The detailed evaluation of mathematical models and the consideration of uncertainty in the modeling of hydrological and environmental systems are of increasing importance, and are sometimes even demanded by decision makers. At the same time, the growing complexity of models to represent real-world systems makes it more and more difficult to understand model behavior, sensitivities and uncertainties. The Monte Carlo Analysis Toolbox (MCAT) is a Matlab library of visual and numerical analysis tools for the evaluation of hydrological and environmental models. Input to the MCAT is the result of a Monte Carlo or population evolution based sampling of the parameter space of the model structure under investigation. The MCAT can be used off-line, i.e. it does not have to be connected to the evaluated model, and can thus be used for any model for which an appropriate sampling can be performed. The MCAT contains tools for the evaluation of performance, identitiability, sensitivity, predictive uncertainty and also allows for the testing of hypotheses with respect to the model structure used. In addition to research applications, the MCAT can be used as a teaching tool in courses that include the use of mathematical models. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1033
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

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