Design of Experiments
Overview
Classical design of experiments (DoE) methods and the more modern design and analysis of computer experiments (DACE) methods are both techniques which seek to extract as much trend data from a parameter space as possible using a limited number of sample points. Classical DoE techniques arose from technical disciplines that assumed some randomness and nonrepeatability in field experiments (e.g., agricultural yield, experimental chemistry). DoE approaches such as central composite design, BoxBehnken design, and full and fractional factorial design generally put sample points at the extremes of the parameter space, since these designs offer more reliable trend extraction in the presence of nonrepeatability. DACE methods are distinguished from DoE methods in that the nonrepeatability component can be omitted since computer simulations are involved. In these cases, space filling designs such as orthogonal array sampling and Latin hypercube sampling are more commonly employed in order to accurately extract trend information. QuasiMonte Carlo sampling techniques which are constructed to fill the unit hypercube with good uniformity of coverage can also be used for DACE.
Dakota supports both DoE and DACE techniques. In common usage, only parameter bounds are used in selecting the samples within the parameter space. Thus, DoE and DACE can be viewed as special cases of the more general probabilistic sampling for uncertainty quantification (see following section), in which the DoE/DACE parameters are treated as having uniform probability distributions. The DoE/DACE techniques are commonly used for investigation of global response trends, identification of significant parameters (e.g., main effects), and as data generation methods for building response surface approximations.
Dakota includes several approaches sampling and design of experiments, all implemented in included thirdparty software libraries. LHS (Latin hypercube sampling) [SW04] is a generalpurpose sampling package developed at Sandia that has been used by the DOE national labs for several decades. DDACE (distributed design and analysis for computer experiments) is a more recent package for computer experiments developed at Sandia Labs [TM]. DDACE provides the capability for generating orthogonal arrays, BoxBehnken designs, Central Composite designs, and random designs. The FSUDace (Florida State University’s Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments) package provides the following sampling techniques: quasiMonte Carlo sampling based on Halton or Hammersley sequences, and Centroidal Voronoi Tessellation. Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s PSUADE (Problem Solving Environment for Uncertainty Analysis and Design Exploration) [Ton05] includes several methods for model exploration, but only the Morris screening method is exposed in Dakota.
This chapter describes DDACE, FSUDace, and PSUADE, with a focus on designing computer experiments. Latin Hypercube Sampling, also used in uncertainty quantification, is discussed in the section on sampling methods.
Design of Computer Experiments
What distinguishes design of computer experiments? Computer experiments are often different from physical experiments, such as those performed in agriculture, manufacturing, or biology. In physical experiments, one often applies the same treatment or factor level in an experiment several times to get an understanding of the variability of the output when that treatment is applied. For example, in an agricultural experiment, several fields (e.g., 8) may be subject to a low level of fertilizer and the same number of fields may be subject to a high level of fertilizer to see if the amount of fertilizer has a significant effect on crop output. In addition, one is often interested in the variability of the output within a treatment group: is the variability of the crop yields in the low fertilizer group much higher than that in the high fertilizer group, or not?
In physical experiments, the process we are trying to examine is stochastic: that is, the same treatment may result in different outcomes. By contrast, in computer experiments, often we have a deterministic code. If we run the code with a particular set of input parameters, the code will always produce the same output. There certainly are stochastic codes, but the main focus of computer experimentation has been on deterministic codes. Thus, in computer experiments we often do not have the need to do replicates (running the code with the exact same input parameters several times to see differences in outputs). Instead, a major concern in computer experiments is to create an experimental design which can sample a highdimensional space in a representative way with a minimum number of samples. The number of factors or parameters that we wish to explore in computer experiments is usually much higher than physical experiments. In physical experiments, one may be interested in varying a few parameters, usually five or less, while in computer experiments we often have dozens of parameters of interest. Choosing the levels of these parameters so that the samples adequately explore the input space is a challenging problem. There are many experimental designs and sampling methods which address the issue of adequate and representative sample selection.
There are many goals of running a computer experiment: one may want to explore the input domain or the design space and get a better understanding of the range in the outputs for a particular domain. Another objective is to determine which inputs have the most influence on the output, or how changes in the inputs change the output. This is usually called sensitivity analysis.
Another goal is to use the sampled input points and their corresponding output to create a response surface approximation for the computer code. The response surface approximation (e.g., a polynomial regression model, a Gaussianprocess/Kriging model, a neural net) can then be used to emulate the computer code. Constructing a response surface approximation is particularly important for applications where running a computational model is extremely expensive: the computer model may take 10 or 20 hours to run on a high performance machine, whereas the response surface model may only take a few seconds. Thus, one often optimizes the response surface model or uses it within a framework such as surrogatebased optimization. Response surface models are also valuable in cases where the gradient (first derivative) and/or Hessian (second derivative) information required by optimization techniques are either not available, expensive to compute, or inaccurate because the derivatives are poorly approximated or the function evaluation is itself noisy due to roundoff errors. Furthermore, many optimization methods require a good initial point to ensure fast convergence or to converge to good solutions (e.g. for problems with multiple local minima). Under these circumstances, a good design of computer experiment framework coupled with response surface approximations can offer great advantages.
In addition to the sensitivity analysis and response surface modeling mentioned above, we also may want to do uncertainty quantification on a computer model. Uncertainty quantification (UQ) refers to taking a particular set of distributions on the inputs, and propagating them through the model to obtain a distribution on the outputs. For example, if input parameter A follows a normal distribution with mean 5 and variance 1, the computer produces a random draw from that distribution. If input parameter B follows a weibull distribution with alpha = 0.5 and beta = 1, the computer produces a random draw from that distribution. When all of the uncertain variables have samples drawn from their input distributions, we run the model with the sampled values as inputs. We do this repeatedly to build up a distribution of outputs. We can then use the cumulative distribution function of the output to ask questions such as: what is the probability that the output is greater than 10? What is the 99th percentile of the output?
Note that samplingbased uncertainty quantification and design of
computer experiments are very similar. There is significant overlap in
the purpose and methods used for UQ and for DACE. We have attempted to
delineate the differences within Dakota as follows: we use the methods
DDACE, FSUDACE, and PSUADE primarily for design of experiments, where we
are interested in understanding the main effects of parameters and where
we want to sample over an input domain to obtain values for constructing
a response surface. We use the nondeterministic sampling methods
(sampling
) for uncertainty quantification, where we are propagating
specific input distributions and interested in obtaining (for example) a
cumulative distribution function on the output. If one has a problem
with no distributional information, we recommend starting with a design
of experiments approach. Note that DDACE, FSUDACE, and PSUADE currently
do not support distributional information: they take an upper and
lower bound for each uncertain input variable and sample within that.
The uncertainty quantification methods in sampling
(primarily Latin
Hypercube sampling) offer the capability to sample from many
distributional types. The distinction between UQ and DACE is somewhat
arbitrary: both approaches often can yield insight about important
parameters and both can determine sample points for response surface
approximations.
Three software packages are available in Dakota for design of computer experiments, DDACE (developed at Sandia Labs), FSUDACE (developed at Florida State University), and PSUADE (LLNL).
DDACE
The Distributed Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments (DDACE) package includes both classical design of experiments methods [TM] and stochastic sampling methods. The classical design of experiments methods in DDACE are central composite design (CCD) and BoxBehnken (BB) sampling. A gridbased sampling (fullfactorial) method is also available. The stochastic methods are orthogonal array sampling [KO96] (which permits main effects calculations), Monte Carlo (random) sampling, Latin hypercube sampling, and orthogonal arrayLatin hypercube sampling. While DDACE LHS supports variables with normal or uniform distributions, only uniform are supported through Dakota. Also DDACE does not allow enforcement of userspecified correlation structure among the variables.
The sampling methods in DDACE can be used alone or in conjunction with other methods. For example, DDACE sampling can be used with both surrogatebased optimization and optimization under uncertainty advanced methods. See Listing 64 for an example of how the DDACE settings are used in Dakota.
The following sections provide more detail about the sampling methods available for design of experiments in DDACE.
Central Composite Design
A BoxWilson Central Composite Design, commonly called a central
composite design (CCD), contains an embedded factorial or fractional
factorial design with center points that is augmented with a group of
’star points’ that allow estimation of curvature. If the distance from
the center of the design space to a factorial point is \(\pm\)1
unit for each factor, the distance from the center of the design space
to a star point is \(\pm\alpha\) with \(\mid\alpha\mid > 1\).
The precise value of \(\alpha\) depends on certain properties
desired for the design and on the number of factors involved. The CCD
design is specified in Dakota with the method command
dace
central_composite
.
As an example, with two input variables or factors, each having two levels, the factorial design is shown in Table 3:
Input 1 
Input 2 

1 
1 
1 
+1 
+1 
1 
+1 
+1 
With a CCD, the design in Table 3 would be augmented with the points shown in Table 4, if \(\alpha\) = 1.3.
Input 1 
Input 2 

0 
+1.3 
0 
1.3 
1.3 
0 
1.3 
0 
0 
0 
These points define a circle around the original factorial design.
Note that the number of sample points specified in a CCD, samples
,
is a function of the number of variables in the problem:
BoxBehnken Design
The BoxBehnken design is similar to a Central Composite design, with
some differences. The BoxBehnken design is a quadratic design in that
it does not contain an embedded factorial or fractional factorial
design. In this design the treatment combinations are at the midpoints
of edges of the process space and at the center, as compared with CCD
designs where the extra points are placed at ’star points’ on a circle
outside of the process space. BoxBehken designs are rotatable (or near
rotatable) and require 3 levels of each factor. The designs have limited
capability for orthogonal blocking compared to the central composite
designs. BoxBehnken requires fewer runs than CCD for 3 factors, but
this advantage goes away as the number of factors increases. The
BoxBehnken design is specified in Dakota with the method command
dace
box_behnken
.
Note that the number of sample points specified in a BoxBehnken design,
samples
, is a function of the number of variables in the problem:
Orthogonal Array Designs
Orthogonal array (OA) sampling is a widely used technique for running experiments and systematically testing factor effects [HSS99]. An orthogonal array sample can be described as a 4tuple \((m,n,s,r)\), where \(m\) is the number of sample points, \(n\) is the number of input variables, \(s\) is the number of symbols, and \(r\) is the strength of the orthogonal array. The number of sample points, \(m\), must be a multiple of the number of symbols, \(s\). The number of symbols refers to the number of levels per input variable. The strength refers to the number of columns where we are guaranteed to see all the possibilities an equal number of times.
For example, Table 5 shows an orthogonal array of strength 2 for \(m\) = 8, with 7 variables:
Input 1 
Input 2 
Input 3 
Input 4 
Input 5 
Input 6 
Input 7 

0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
0 
1 
1 
1 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 
1 
1 
1 
0 
0 
1 
0 
1 
0 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 
1 
0 
1 
0 
0 
1 
If one picks any two columns, say the first and the third, note that each of the four possible rows we might see there, 0 0, 0 1, 1 0, 1 1, appears exactly the same number of times, twice in this case.
DDACE creates orthogonal arrays of strength 2. Further, the OAs
generated by DDACE do not treat the factor levels as one fixed value (0
or 1 in the above example). Instead, once a level for a variable is
determined in the array, DDACE samples a random variable from within
that level. The orthogonal array design is specified in Dakota with the
method command dace
oas
.
The orthogonal array method in DDACE is the only method that allows for
the calculation of main effects, specified with the command
main_effects
. Main effects is a sensitivity analysis method which
identifies the input variables that have the most influence on the
output. In main effects, the idea is to look at the mean of the response
function when variable A (for example) is at level 1 vs. when variable A
is at level 2 or level 3. If these mean responses of the output are
statistically significantly different at different levels of variable A,
this is an indication that variable A has a significant effect on the
response. The orthogonality of the columns is critical in performing
main effects analysis, since the column orthogonality means that the
effects of the other variables ’cancel out’ when looking at the overall
effect from one variable at its different levels. There are ways of
developing orthogonal arrays to calculate higher order interactions,
such as twoway interactions (what is the influence of Variable A *
Variable B on the output?), but this is not available in DDACE
currently. At present, one way interactions are supported in the
calculation of orthogonal array main effects within DDACE. The main
effects are presented as a series of ANOVA tables. For each objective
function and constraint, the decomposition of variance of that objective
or constraint is presented as a function of the input variables. The
pvalue in the ANOVA table is used to indicate if the input factor is
significant. The pvalue is the probability that you would have obtained
samples more extreme than you did if the input factor has no effect on
the response. For example, if you set a level of significance at 0.05
for your pvalue, and the actual pvalue is 0.03, then the input factor
has a significant effect on the response.
Grid Design
In a grid design, a grid is placed over the input variable space. This is very similar to a multidimensional parameter study where the samples are taken over a set of partitions on each variable. The main difference is that in grid sampling, a small random perturbation is added to each sample value so that the grid points are not on a perfect grid. This is done to help capture certain features in the output such as periodic functions. A purely structured grid, with the samples exactly on the grid points, has the disadvantage of not being able to capture important features such as periodic functions with relatively high frequency (due to aliasing). Adding a random perturbation to the grid samples helps remedy this problem.
Another disadvantage with grid sampling is that the number of sample
points required depends exponentially on the input dimensions. In grid
sampling, the number of samples is the number of symbols (grid
partitions) raised to the number of variables. For example, if there are
2 variables, each with 5 partitions, the number of samples would be
\(5^2\). In this case, doubling the number of variables squares the
sample size. The grid design is specified in Dakota with the method
command dace
grid
.
Note
Refer to the section on multidimensional parameter studies for more information.
Monte Carlo Design
Monte Carlo designs simply involve pure MonteCarlo random sampling from
uniform distributions between the lower and upper bounds on each of the
input variables. Monte Carlo designs, specified by dace
random
, are
a way to generate a set of random samples over an input domain.
LHS Design
DDACE offers the capability to generate Latin Hypercube designs. Note that the version of LHS
in DDACE generates uniform samples (uniform between the variable
bounds). The version of LHS offered with nondeterministic sampling can
generate LHS samples according to a number of distribution types,
including normal, lognormal, weibull, beta, etc. To specify the DDACE
version of LHS, use the method command dace
lhs
.
Note
Refer to the section on Latin Hypercube sampling for more information.
OALHS Design
DDACE offers a hybrid design which is combination of an orthogonal array
and a Latin Hypercube sample. This design is specified with the method
command dace
oa_lhs
. This design has the advantages of both
orthogonality of the inputs as well as stratification of the samples
(see [Owe92]).
FSUDace
The Florida State University Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments (FSUDace) package provides quasiMonte Carlo sampling (Halton and Hammersley) and Centroidal Voronoi Tessellation (CVT) methods. All three methods natively generate sets of uniform random variables on the interval \([0,1]\) (or in Dakota, on userspecified uniform intervals).
The quasiMonte Carlo and CVT methods are designed with the goal of low discrepancy. Discrepancy refers to the nonuniformity of the sample points within the unit hypercube. Low discrepancy sequences tend to cover the unit hypercube reasonably uniformly. QuasiMonte Carlo methods produce low discrepancy sequences, especially if one is interested in the uniformity of projections of the point sets onto lower dimensional faces of the hypercube (usually 1D: how well do the marginal distributions approximate a uniform?) CVT does very well volumetrically: it spaces the points fairly equally throughout the space, so that the points cover the region and are isotropically distributed with no directional bias in the point placement. There are various measures of volumetric uniformity which take into account the distances between pairs of points, regularity measures, etc. Note that CVT does not produce lowdiscrepancy sequences in lower dimensions, however: the lowerdimension (such as 1D) projections of CVT can have high discrepancy.
The quasiMonte Carlo sequences of Halton and Hammersley are
deterministic sequences determined by a set of prime bases. A Halton
design is specified in Dakota with the method command
fsu_quasi_mc
halton
, and the Hammersley design is specified with the
command fsu_quasi_mc
hammersley
. For more details about the input
specification, see the Reference Manual. CVT points tend to arrange
themselves in a pattern of cells that are roughly the same shape. To
produce CVT points, an almost arbitrary set of initial points is chosen,
and then an internal set of iterations is carried out. These iterations
repeatedly replace the current set of sample points by an estimate of
the centroids of the corresponding Voronoi
subregions [DFG99]. A CVT design is specified in Dakota
with the method command fsu_cvt
.
The methods in FSUDace are useful for design of experiments because they provide good coverage of the input space, thus allowing global sensitivity analysis.
PSUADE MOAT
PSUADE (Problem Solving Environment for Uncertainty Analysis and Design Exploration) is a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory tool for metamodeling, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, and optimization. Its features include nonintrusive and parallel function evaluations, sampling and analysis methods, an integrated design and analysis framework, global optimization, numerical integration, response surfaces (MARS and higher order regressions), graphical output with Pgplot or Matlab, and fault tolerance [Ton05]. Dakota includes a prototype interface to its Morris OneAtATime (MOAT) screening method, a valuable tool for global sensitivity (including interaction) analysis.
The Morris OneAtATime method, originally proposed by M. D. Morris [Mor91], is a screening method, designed to explore a computational model to distinguish between input variables that have negligible, linear and additive, or nonlinear or interaction effects on the output. The computer experiments performed consist of individually randomized designs which vary one input factor at a time to create a sample of its elementary effects.
With MOAT, each dimension of a \(k\)dimensional input space is uniformly partitioned into \(p\) levels, creating a grid of \(p^k\) points \({\bf x} \in \mathbb{R}^k\) at which evaluations of the model \(y({\bf x})\) might take place. An elementary effect corresponding to input \(i\) is computed by a forward difference
where \(e_i\) is the \(i^{\mbox{th}}\) coordinate vector, and the step \(\Delta\) is typically taken to be large (this is not intended to be a local derivative approximation). In the present implementation of MOAT, for an input variable scaled to \([0,1]\), \(\Delta = \frac{p}{2(p1)}\), so the step used to find elementary effects is slightly larger than half the input range.
The distribution of elementary effects \(d_i\) over the input space characterizes the effect of input \(i\) on the output of interest. After generating \(r\) samples from this distribution, their mean,
modified mean
(using absolute value) and standard deviation
are computed for each input \(i\). The mean and modified mean give an indication of the overall effect of an input on the output. Standard deviation indicates nonlinear effects or interactions, since it is an indicator of elementary effects varying throughout the input space.
The MOAT method is selected with method keyword psuade_moat
as shown
in the sample Dakota input file Listing 28.
# Dakota Input File: morris_ps_moat.in
environment
tabular_data
tabular_data_file 'dakota_psuade.0.dat'
method
psuade_moat
samples = 84
partitions = 3
seed = 500
variables
continuous_design = 20
lower_bounds = 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
upper_bounds = 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
interface
analysis_drivers = 'morris'
fork
asynchronous evaluation_concurrency = 5
responses
objective_functions = 1
no_gradients
no_hessians
The number of samples
must be a positive integer multiple of (number of
continuous design variables \(k\) + 1) and will be automatically
adjusted if misspecified. The number of partitions
applies to each variable being studied and must be odd (the number of
MOAT levels \(p\) per variable is partitions + 1, similar to Dakota
multidimensional parameter studies). This will also be adjusted at
runtime as necessary. Finite userspecified lower and upper bounds are
required and will be scaled as needed by the method.
Note
For more information on the use of MOAT sampling, see this Morris example, or Saltelli, et al. [STCR04].
Sensitivity Analysis
Sensitivity Analysis Overview
In many engineering design applications, sensitivity analysis techniques and parameter study methods are useful in identifying which of the design parameters have the most influence on the response quantities. This information is helpful prior to an optimization study as it can be used to remove design parameters that do not strongly influence the responses. In addition, these techniques can provide assessments as to the behavior of the response functions (smooth or nonsmooth, unimodal or multimodal) which can be invaluable in algorithm selection for optimization, uncertainty quantification, and related methods. In a postoptimization role, sensitivity information is useful is determining whether or not the response functions are robust with respect to small changes in the optimum design point.
In some instances, the term sensitivity analysis is used in a local sense to denote the computation of response derivatives at a point. These derivatives are then used in a simple analysis to make design decisions. Dakota supports this type of study through numerical finitedifferencing or retrieval of analytic gradients computed within the analysis code. The desired gradient data is specified in the responses section of the Dakota input file and the collection of this data at a single point is accomplished through a parameter study method with no steps. This approach to sensitivity analysis should be distinguished from the activity of augmenting analysis codes to internally compute derivatives using techniques such as direct or adjoint differentiation, automatic differentiation (e.g., ADIFOR), or complex step modifications. These sensitivity augmentation activities are completely separate from Dakota and are outside the scope of this manual. However, once completed, Dakota can utilize these analytic gradients to perform optimization, uncertainty quantification, and related studies more reliably and efficiently.
In other instances, the term sensitivity analysis is used in a more global sense to denote the investigation of variability in the response functions. Dakota supports this type of study through computation of response data sets (typically function values only, but all data sets are supported) at a series of points in the parameter space. The series of points is defined using either a vector, list, centered, or multidimensional parameter study method. For example, a set of closelyspaced points in a vector parameter study could be used to assess the smoothness of the response functions in order to select a finite difference step size, and a set of more widelyspaced points in a centered or multidimensional parameter study could be used to determine whether the response function variation is likely to be unimodal or multimodal. See Parameter Studies Capabilities for additional information on these methods. These more global approaches to sensitivity analysis can be used to obtain trend data even in situations when gradients are unavailable or unreliable, and they are conceptually similar to the design of experiments methods and sampling approaches to uncertainty quantification described in the following sections.
Assessing Sensitivity with DACE
Like parameter studies, the DACE techniques are useful for characterizing the behavior of the response functions of interest through the parameter ranges of interest. In addition to direct interrogation and visualization of the sampling results, a number of techniques have been developed for assessing the parameters which are most influential in the observed variability in the response functions. One example of this is the wellknown technique of scatter plots, in which the set of samples is projected down and plotted against one parameter dimension, for each parameter in turn. Scatter plots with a uniformly distributed cloud of points indicate parameters with little influence on the results, whereas scatter plots with a defined shape to the cloud indicate parameters which are more significant. Related techniques include analysis of variance (ANOVA) [MM95] and main effects analysis, in which the parameters which have the greatest influence on the results are identified from sampling results. Scatter plots and ANOVA may be accessed through import of Dakota tabular results into external statistical analysis programs such as Splus, Minitab, etc.
Running any of the design of experiments or sampling methods allows the user to save the results in a tabular data file, which then can be read into a spreadsheet or statistical package for further analysis. In addition, we have provided some functions to help determine the most important variables.
We take the definition of uncertainty analysis from [STCR04]: “The study of how uncertainty in the output of a model can be apportioned to different sources of uncertainty in the model input.”
As a default, Dakota provides correlation analyses when running LHS. Correlation tables are printed with the simple, partial, and rank correlations between inputs and outputs. These can be useful to get a quick sense of how correlated the inputs are to each other, and how correlated various outputs are to inputs. The correlation analyses are explained further in the sampling section.
We also have the capability to calculate sensitivity indices through Variancebased Decomposition (VBD). Variancebased decomposition is a global sensitivity method that summarizes how the uncertainty in model output can be apportioned to uncertainty in individual input variables. VBD uses two primary measures, the main effect sensitivity index \(S_{i}\) and the total effect index \(T_{i}\). The main effect sensitivity index corresponds to the fraction of the uncertainty in the output, \(Y\), that can be attributed to input \(x_{i}\) alone. The total effects index corresponds to the fraction of the uncertainty in the output, \(Y\), that can be attributed to input \(x_{i}\) and its interactions with other variables. The main effect sensitivity index compares the variance of the conditional expectation \(Var_{x_{i}}[E(Yx_{i})]\) against the total variance \(Var(Y)\). Formulas for the indices are:
and
where \(Y=f({\bf x})\) and \({x_{i}=(x_{1},...,x_{i1},x_{i+1},...,x_{m})}\).
The calculation of \(S_{i}\) and \(T_{i}\) requires the
evaluation of mdimensional integrals which are typically approximated
by MonteCarlo sampling. More details on the calculations and
interpretation of the sensitivity indices can be found
in [STCR04]. In Dakota version 5.1, we have improved
calculations for the calculation of the \(S_{i}\) and \(T_{i}\)
indices when using sampling. The implementation details of these
calculatiosn are provided in [WKS+12]. VBD can be
specified for any of the sampling or DACE methods using the command
variance_based_decomp
. Note that VBD is extremely
computationally intensive when using sampling since replicated sets of
sample values are evaluated. If the user specified a number of samples,
\(N\), and a number of nondeterministic variables, \(M\),
variancebased decomposition requires the evaluation of \(N(M+2)\)
samples. To obtain sensitivity indices that are reasonably accurate, we
recommend that \(N\), the number of samples, be at least one hundred
and preferably several hundred or thousands. Because of the
computational cost, variancebased decomposition is turned off as a
default for sampling or DACE. Another alternative, however, is to obtain
these indices using one of the stochastic expansion methods. The calculation of the
indices using expansion methods is much more efficient since the VBD
indices are analytic functions of the coefficients in the stochastic
expansion. The paper by Weirs et al. [WKS+12]
compares different methods for calculating the sensitivity indices for
nonlinear problems with significant interaction effects.
In terms of interpretation of the sensitivity indices, a larger value of the sensitivity index, \(S_{i}\), means that the uncertainty in the input variable \(i\) has a larger effect on the variance of the output. Note that the sum of the main effect indices will be less than or equal to one. If the sum of the main effect indices is much less than one, it indicates that there are significant twoway, threeway, or higher order interactions that contribute significantly to the variance. There is no requirement that the sum of the total effect indices is one: in most cases, the sum of the total effect indices will be greater than one. An example of the Main and Total effects indices as calculated by Dakota using sampling is shown in the following spinnet of Dakota output:
Global sensitivity indices for each response function:
response_fn_1 Sobol indices:
Main Total
4.7508913283e01 5.3242162037e01 uuv_1
3.8112392892e01 4.9912486515e01 uuv_2
Finally, we have the capability to calculate a set of quality metrics for a particular input sample. These quality metrics measure various aspects relating to the volumetric spacing of the samples: are the points equally spaced, do they cover the region, are they isotropically distributed, do they have directional bias, etc.? The quality metrics are explained in more detail in the Reference Manual.
DOE Usage Guidelines
Parameter studies, classical design of experiments (DOE), design/analysis of computer experiments (DACE), and sampling methods share the purpose of exploring the parameter space. When a global spacefilling set of samples is desired, then the DOE, DACE, and sampling methods are recommended. These techniques are useful for scatter plot and variance analysis as well as surrogate model construction.
The distinction between DOE and DACE methods is that the former are intended for physical experiments containing an element of nonrepeatability (and therefore tend to place samples at the extreme parameter vertices), whereas the latter are intended for repeatable computer experiments and are more spacefilling in nature.
The distinction between DOE/DACE and sampling is drawn based on the distributions of the parameters. DOE/DACE methods typically assume uniform distributions, whereas the sampling approaches in Dakota support a broad range of probability distributions.
To use sampling
in design of experiments mode (as opposed to
uncertainty quantification mode), an active view override (e.g.,
active
all
) can be included in the variables specification (see
“Management of Mixed Variables by Iterator”) of the Dakota
input file.
Design of experiments method selection recommendations are summarized in Table 6:
Method Classification 
Applications 
Applicable Methods 

parameter study 
sensitivity analysis, directed parameter space investigations 

classical design of experiments 
physical experiments (parameters are uniformly distributed) 

design of computer experiments 
variance analysis, space filling design (parameters are uniformly distributed) 

sampling 
space filling designs (parameters have general probability distributions) 
Video Resources
Title 
Link 
Resources 

Sensitivity Analysis 

Introduction to Sensitivity Analysis 