Regulatory Models and the Environment: Practice, Pitfalls, and Prospects Modeling is a difficult enterprise even outside of
the potentially adversarial regulatory environment. The demands grow
when the regulatory requirements for accountability, transparency,
public accessibility, and technical rigor are added to the challenges.
Moreover, models cannot be validated (declared true) but instead should
be evaluated with regard to their suitability as tools to address a
specific question. The committee concluded that these characteristics
make evaluation of a regulatory model more complex than simply
comparing measurement data with model results. Evaluation also must
balance the need for a model to be accurate with the need for a model
to be reproducible, transparent, and useful for the regulatory decision
at hand. Meeting these needs requires model evaluation to be applied
over the “life cycle” of a regulatory model with an approach that
includes different forms of peer review, uncertainty analysis, and
extrapolation methods than for non-regulatory models.
choice of terminology is unfortunate, validated generally doesn't mean
true, it means understanding the degree to which a model is a suitable
representation of the real world.