Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis in Archaeological Computational Modeling

  • Marieka Brouwer Burg
  • Hans Peeters
  • William A. Lovis

Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

About this book


This volume deals with the pressing issue of uncertainty in archaeological modeling. Detecting where and when uncertainty is introduced to the modeling process is critical, as are strategies for minimizing, reconciling, or accommodating such uncertainty. Included chapters provide unique perspectives on uncertainty in archaeological modeling, ranging in both theoretical and methodological orientation. The strengths and weaknesses of various identification and mitigation techniques are discussed, in particular sensitivity analysis. The chapters demonstrate that for archaeological modeling purposes, there is no quick fix for uncertainty; indeed, each archaeological model requires intensive consideration of uncertainty and specific applications for calibration and validation. As very few such techniques have been problematized in a systematic manner or published in the archaeological literature, this volume aims to provide guidance and direction to other modelers in the field by distilling some basic principles for model testing derived from insight gathered in the case studies presented. Additionally, model applications and their attendant uncertainties are presented from distinct spatio-temporal contexts and will appeal to a broad range of archaeological modelers. This volume will also be of interest to non-modeling archaeologists, as consideration of uncertainty when interpreting the archaeological record is also a vital concern for the development of non-formal (or implicit) models of human behavior in the past.



Agent based modeling (ABM) Differential criteria weighting Empirical data set mining and inductive pattern recognition Geographic and behavioral criteria for archaeological models Linear versus non-linear modeling Sensitivity Analysis (SA) Simulative, predictive, and heuristic frameworks in archaeology

Editors and affiliations

  • Marieka Brouwer Burg
    • 1
  • Hans Peeters
    • 2
  • William A. Lovis
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Groningen Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology and MSU MuseMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-27831-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-27833-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1568-2722
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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