Publications / SAND Report

Risk-Adaptive Experimental Design for High-Consequence Systems: LDRD Final Report

Kouri, Drew P.; Jakeman, John D.; Huerta, Jose G.; Walsh, Timothy W.; Smith, Chandler B.; Uryasev, Stan U.

Constructing accurate statistical models of critical system responses typically requires an enormous amount of data from physical experiments or numerical simulations. Unfortunately, data generation is often expensive and time consuming. To streamline the data generation process, optimal experimental design determines the 'best' allocation of experiments with respect to a criterion that measures the ability to estimate some important aspect of an assumed statistical model. While optimal design has a vast literature, few researchers have developed design paradigms targeting tail statistics, such as quantiles. In this project, we tailored and extended traditional design paradigms to target distribution tails. Our approach included (i) the development of new optimality criteria to shape the distribution of prediction variances, (ii) the development of novel risk-adapted surrogate models that provably overestimate certain statistics including the probability of exceeding a threshold, and (iii) the asymptotic analysis of regression approaches that target tail statistics such as superquantile regression. To accompany our theoretical contributions, we released implementations of our methods for surrogate modeling and design of experiments in two complementary open source software packages, the ROL/OED Toolkit and PyApprox.