Choosing the Sample Size of a Computer Experiment: A Practical Guide

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Choosing the Sample Size of a Computer Experiment: A Practical Guide

TitleChoosing the Sample Size of a Computer Experiment: A Practical Guide
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLoeppky, JL, Sacks, J, Welch, WJ
JournalTechnometrics
Volume51
Pagination366-376
AbstractWe provide reasons and evidence supporting the informal rule that the number of runs for an effective initial computer experiment should be about 10 times the input dimension. Our arguments quantify two key characteristics of computer codes that affect the sample size required for a desired level of accuracy when approximating the code via a Gaussian process (GP). The first characteristic is the total sensitivity of a code output variable to all input variables; the second corresponds to the way this total sensitivity is distributed across the input variables, specifically the possible presence of a few prominent input factors and many impotent ones (i.e., effect sparsity). Both measures relate directly to the correlation structure in the GP approximation of the code. In this way, the article moves toward a more formal treatment of sample size for a computer experiment. The evidence supporting these arguments stems primarily from a simulation study and via specific codes modeling climate and ligand activation of G-protein.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1198/TECH.2009.08040
DOI10.1198/TECH.2009.08040