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An Efficient Screening Method for Computer Experiments

Summary: Computer simulators of real-world processes are often computationally expensive and require many inputs. The problem of the computational expense can be handled using emulation technology; however, highly multidimensional input spaces may require more simulator runs to train and validate the emulator. The authors aim to reduce the dimensionality of the problem by screening the simulator's inputs for nonlinear effects on the output rather than distinguishing between negligible and active effects. The proposed method is built upon the elementary effects (EE) method for screening and uses a threshold value to separate the inputs with linear and nonlinear effects. The technique is simple to implement and acts in a sequential way to keep the number of simulator runs down to a minimum, while identifying the inputs that have nonlinear effects. The algorithm is applied on a set of simulated examples and a rabies disease simulator where run savings are observed, ranging between 28% and 63% compared with the batch EE method. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.

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  • Topics: Design of Experiments
  • Keywords: Screening, Sensitivity analysis, Variable selection, Simulations, Main effects
  • Author: Boukouvalas, Alexis; Gosling, John Paul; Maruri-Aguilar, Hugo;
  • Journal: Technometrics