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

A four day PEST course will be held in The Netherlands over the week beginning 21st November, 2016.

A five day PEST course will be held in Neuchatel, Switzerland over the week beginning 30th January, 2017.

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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