Articles

Verification, Validation, and Confirmation of Numerical Models in the Earth Sciences

Science  04 Feb 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5147, pp. 641-646
DOI: 10.1126/science.263.5147.641

Abstract

Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always nonunique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The primary value of models is heuristic.

Cited By...