Uncertainty quantification, verification and validation (VVUQ) are crucial to establish the reliability and reproducibility of all forms of computer-based simulation. We propose to establish an open source and open development VVUQ toolkit, the SEAVEA toolkit, which is optimised for efficient execution at current pre- and emerging exascale, which will raise new challenges and new opportunities for simulations in fields as diverse as fusion and climate modelling.
Computer simulation results are validated compared with experiment in several ways, ranging from qualitative to quantitative measures which apply a validation metric. Likewise, verification is concerned with confirmation that the mathematical model and corresponding algorithm have been coded correctly. Uncertainty quantification (UQ) is concerned with understanding the origins of and assessing the magnitudes of the errors which accompany computer simulations, whether epistemic or aleatoric.
VVUQ is necessary for any simulation that makes predictions in advance of an event to become actionable – that is, for its output to be useful in any form of decision-making process, from government interventions in pandemics to the choice of materials to combine for aircraft wing production. Moreover, because VVUQ is intrinsically compute intensive due to its ensemble-based execution pattern, it may require exascale resources, as well as advanced resource management strategies to efficiently manage the large numbers of concurrent runs necessary.
The SEAVEA toolkit will include advanced approaches for surrogate modelling in order to minimise the expense and time needed to perform the most compute-intensive calculations and will demonstrate its efficiency gains for a diverse array of VVUQ workflows within multiple scientific applications (in fusion, epidemiology and many other domains), and on architecturally and geographically diverse emerging exascale environments. The toolkit will become an open and invaluable asset within the UK and internationally as high-performance computing enters the exascale era.