This paper investigates factors influencing the degree of improvement in estimates of parameters of a nonlinear regression groundwater flow model by incorporating prior information of unknown reliability. Consideration of expected behavior of the regression solutions and results of a hypothetical modeling problem lead to several general conclusions. First, if the parameters are properly scaled, linearized expressions for the mean square error (MSE) in parameter estimates of a nonlinear model will often behave very nearly as if the model were linear. Second, by using prior information, the MSE in properly scaled parameters can be reduced greatly over the MSE of ordinary least squares estimates of parameters. Third, plots of estimated MSE and the estimated standard deviation of MSE versus an auxiliary parameter (the ridge parameter) specifying the degree of influence of the prior information on regression results can help determine the potential for improvement of parameter estimates. Fourth, proposed criteria can be used to make appropriate choices for the ridge parameter and another parameter expressing degree of overall bias in the prior information. Results of a case study of Truckee Meadows, Reno-Sparks area, Washoe County, Nevada, conform closely to the results of the hypothetical problem. In the Truckee Meadows case, incorporation of prior information did not greatly change the parameter estimates from those obtained by ordinary least squares. However, the analysis showed that both sets of estimates are more reliable than suggested by the standard errors from ordinary least squares.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Incorporation of prior information on parameters into nonlinear regression groundwater flow models: 2. Applications|
|Series title||Water Resources Research|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|