Assessing uncertainty: What is the most important variable?


Many mine engineering analyses involve uncertainty due to variability in input variables. Examples include mine production planning analyses with uncertainty surrounding production rates and other production parameters and geomechanics analyses with uncertainty around rock properties. Simple methods can be effective in some cases but can be limiting in others. Regardless of what approach one takes it is important to focus such analyses on the most important variable(s) (i.e. those that cause the most uncertainty). In this post, I will attempt to show the relationship between input variables and uncertainty, which might help you to focus on the key variables the next time you have to do such analyses.

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