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International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification
IF: 4.911 5-Year IF: 3.179 SJR: 1.008 SNIP: 0.983 CiteScore™: 5.2

ISSN Print: 2152-5080
ISSN Online: 2152-5099

Open Access

International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification

DOI: 10.1615/Int.J.UncertaintyQuantification.2020033029
pages 249-275


Xujia Zhu
Chair of Risk, Safety and Uncertainty Quantification, ETH Zurich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Bruno Sudret
Chair of Risk, Safety and Uncertainty Quantification, ETH Zurich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland


Due to limited computational power, performing uncertainty quantification analyses with complex computational models can be a challenging task. This is exacerbated in the context of stochastic simulators, the response of which to a given set of input parameters, rather than being a deterministic value, is a random variable with unknown probability density function (PDF). Of interest in this paper is the construction of a surrogate that can accurately predict this response PDF for any input parameters. We suggest using a flexible distribution family−the generalized lambda distribution−to approximate the response PDF. The associated distribution parameters are cast as functions of input parameters and represented by sparse polynomial chaos expansions. To build such a surrogate model, we propose an approach based on a local inference of the response PDF at each point of the experimental design based on replicated model evaluations. Two versions of this framework are proposed and compared on analytical examples and case studies.


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