PEST - Model-Independent Parameter Estimation and Uncertainty Analysis


Tutorial PEST Courses

A Tutorial

Download a comprehensive tutorial that shows you how to use PEST to undertake state-of-the-art model parameter and predictive uncertainty analysis. Two complete worked examples are provided, one involving a surface water model (HSPF) and the other involving a groundwater model (MODFLOW). Also provided is the background theory (explained in an easy-to-read manner) and suggestions on how modern methods of data processing and uncertainty analysis such as are provided by PEST can be used as critical components of the environmental decision-making process.

Topics covered include the following:

  • Monte-Carlo analysis;
  • Linear parameter and predictive uncertainty analysis;
  • Predictive error and predictive uncertainty;
  • Parameter contributions to pre- and post-calibration predictive uncertainty;
  • Assessment of data worth through its ability to reduce predictive uncertainty;
  • Uncertainty analysis for over-determined and under-determined systems;
  • Null space and solution space components of parameter and predictive uncertainty;
  • Nonlinear predictive calibration-constrained maximization/minimization;
  • Assessment of parameter identifiability;
  • Null space Monte Carlo analysis;
  • Scientific hypothesis-testing using models;
  • Using Pareto methods to calculate predictive confidence intervals.

Many thanks to the South Florida Water Management District for making development of this tutorial possible.

PEST Courses

A number of professional PEST courses are normally held each year.  Planned courses are as follows.

A five day PEST course hosted by the University of Copenhagen will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark over the week beginning 1st February, 2016.

A four day PEST course hosted by Aqualinc will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand from Monday 4th to Thursday 7th April, 2016.

A four day PEST course hosted by the California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum will be held at McClellan, California over June 21-24, 2016.

A four day PEST course will be hosted by the Australian Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. It will take place in Brisbane, Australia over the week beginning 25th July, 2016.

A four day PEST course will be hosted by SSPA in Bethesda, MD (just outside of Washington DC) over the week beginning 12th September 2016.

Contact us for further details on any of these courses.

In-house training is also offered. This can be tailored to your needs. Contact us if you are interested.

Topics covered in a typical PEST course include the following:
  • Traditional parameter estimation
  • Regularized inversion
  • Tikhonov and SVD regularization
  • Model calibration using SVD-assist
  • Techniques for calibration of ground water models
  • Use of pilot points as a parameterization device
  • Techniques for calibration of surface water models
  • Parameter and predictive uncertainty analysis
  • Calibration-constrained Monte Carlo analysis (including null space MC)
  • Optimization of data aquisition
  • Dealing with model imperfections
  • Handling of "real" measurement noise and structural noise
  • Use of models in decision-support
  • Model-based hypothesis-testing 
Courses include theory and workshops. Participants are provided with a memory stick whose contents include the following.
  • The latest version of PEST
  • Copies of all slides shown during lectures
  • Files and documentation for all PEST workshops
  • Copies of papers and other literature on PEST
Workshops include the following.
  • Using PEST with a simple storage model
  • Using PEST with MODFLOW (three workshops)
  • Using PEST with HSPF
  • Using PEST with SEAWAT (two workshops)
  • Using pilot points
  • Linear and nonlinear uncertainty analysis

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