Abstract

Although model calibration should be always performed alongside model validation, this is rarely the case when deriving new ground‐motion prediction equations (GMPEs). Explanatory modeling (Shmueli, 2010) is often preferred to data‐driven predictive approaches, and the analysis of the residual distribution is generally used to support the model qualification. Following previous studies (Kuehn et al., 2009; Scherbaum et al., 2009), this work aims to again stress the importance of validation for assessing the predictive power of GMPEs and for avoiding, or at least limiting, data overfitting. Considering the strong‐motion data and models recently analyzed by Roselli et al. (2016), I exemplify the application of standard validation approaches based on predictive metrics (Akaike and Bayesian information criteria), resample techniques (cross validation and bootstrap), and validation against new data. The results confirm that GMPEs overfitting the calibration data have a limited predictive power, whereas, regarding validation against new data, the selection of the validation data set should take into account possible regional effects in the ground motion.

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