Extending a global sensitivity analysis technique to models with correlated parameters

C. Xu, G. Gertner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification and representation of uncertainty is recognized as an essential component in model applications. One important approach in the identification of uncertainty is sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity analysis evaluates how the variations in the model output can be apportioned to variations in model parameters. One of the most popular sensitivity analysis techniques is Fourier amplitude sensitivity test (FAST). The main mechanism of FAST is to assign each parameter with a distinct integer frequency (characteristic frequency) through a periodic sampling function. Then, for a specific parameter, the variance contribution can be singled out of the model output by the characteristic frequency based on a Fourier transformation. One limitation of FAST is that it can only be applied for models with independent parameters. However, in many cases, the parameters are correlated with one another. In this study, we propose to extend FAST to models with correlated parameters. The extension is based on the reordering of the independent sample in the traditional FAST. We apply the improved FAST to linear, nonlinear, nonmonotonic and real application models. The results show that the sensitivity indices derived by FAST are in a good agreement with those from the correlation ratio sensitivity method, which is a nonparametric method for models with correlated parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5579-5590
Number of pages12
JournalComputational Statistics and Data Analysis
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007


  • Correlation
  • FAST
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Uncertainty analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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