Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

On choosing the resolution of normative models

TitleOn choosing the resolution of normative models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Volume279
Number2
Pages511-523
Abstract / Summary

Long time horizon normative models are frequently used for policy analysis, strategic planning, and system analysis. Choosing the granularity of the temporal or spatial resolution of such models is an important modeling decision, often having a first order impact on model results. This type of decision is frequently made by modeler judgment, particularly when the predictive power of alternative choices cannot be tested. In this paper, we show how the implicit tradeoffs modelers make in these formulation decisions, in particular in the tradeoff between the accuracy of representation enabled by the available data and model parsimony, may be addressed with established information theoretic ideas. The paper provides guidance for modelers making these tradeoffs or, in certain cases, enables explicit tests for assessing appropriate levels of resolution. We will mainly focus on optimization based normative models in the discussion here, and draw our examples from the energy and climate domain.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2019.06.017
DOI10.1016/j.ejor.2019.06.017
Funding Program: 
Journal: European Journal of Operational Research
Year of Publication: 2019
Volume: 279
Number: 2
Pages: 511-523
Publication Date: 12/2019

Long time horizon normative models are frequently used for policy analysis, strategic planning, and system analysis. Choosing the granularity of the temporal or spatial resolution of such models is an important modeling decision, often having a first order impact on model results. This type of decision is frequently made by modeler judgment, particularly when the predictive power of alternative choices cannot be tested. In this paper, we show how the implicit tradeoffs modelers make in these formulation decisions, in particular in the tradeoff between the accuracy of representation enabled by the available data and model parsimony, may be addressed with established information theoretic ideas. The paper provides guidance for modelers making these tradeoffs or, in certain cases, enables explicit tests for assessing appropriate levels of resolution. We will mainly focus on optimization based normative models in the discussion here, and draw our examples from the energy and climate domain.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2019.06.017
Citation:
Merrick, J, and J Weyant.  2019.  "On choosing the resolution of normative models."  European Journal of Operational Research 279(2): 511-523.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2019.06.017.