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Sampling And Sensitivity Analyses Tools (SaSAT) For Computational Modelling

Alexander Hoare, David G Regan, David P Wilson

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Abstract SaSAT (Sampling and Sensitivity Analysis Tools) is a user-friendly software package for applying uncertainty and sensitivity analyses to mathematical and computational models of arbitrary complexity and context. The toolbox is built in Matlab®, a numerical mathematical software package, and utilises algorithms contained in the Matlab® Statistics Toolbox. However, Matlab® is not required to use SaSAT as the software package is provided as an executable file with all the necessary supplementary files. The SaSAT package is also designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft Excel but no functionality is forfeited if that software is not available. A comprehensive suite of tools is provided to enable the following tasks to be easily performed: efficient and equitable sampling of parameter space by various methodologies; calculation of correlation coefficients; regression analysis; factor prioritisation; and graphical output of results, including response surfaces, tornado plots, and scatterplots. Use of SaSAT is exemplified by application to a simple epidemic model. To our knowledge, a number of the methods available in SaSAT for performing sensitivity analyses have not previously been used in epidemiological modelling and their usefulness in this context is demonstrated.