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An Integrated Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis for Spatial Multicriteria Models (Short Paper)

Authors Piotr Jankowski , Arika Ligmann-Zielińska , Zbigniew Zwoliński , Alicja Najwer

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Author Details

Piotr Jankowski
  • San Diego State University, CA, USA
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Arika Ligmann-Zielińska
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Zbigniew Zwoliński
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Alicja Najwer
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

Cite AsGet BibTex

Piotr Jankowski, Arika Ligmann-Zielińska, Zbigniew Zwoliński, and Alicja Najwer. An Integrated Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis for Spatial Multicriteria Models (Short Paper). In 12th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 277, pp. 42:1-42:6, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


This paper introduces an integrated Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis (US-A) approach for Spatial Multicriteria Models (SMM). The US-A approach evaluates uncertainty and sensitivity by considering both criteria values and weights, providing spatially distributed measures. A geodiversity assessment case study demonstrates the application of US-A, identifying influential inputs driving uncertainty in specific areas. The results highlight the importance of considering both criteria values and weights in analyzing model uncertainty. The paper contributes to the literature on spatially-explicit uncertainty and sensitivity analysis by providing a method for analyzing both categories of SMM inputs: evaluation criteria values and weights, and by presenting a novel form of visualizing their sensitivity measures with bivariate maps.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Geographic information systems
  • model uncertainty
  • input factor sensitivity
  • geodiversity
  • spatial multicriteria models


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  2. Bakhtiar Feizizadeh, Piotr Jankowski, and Thomas Blaschke. A GIS based spatially-explicit sensitivity and uncertainty analysis approach for multi-criteria decision analysis. Comput. Geosci., 64:81-95, 2014. URL:
  3. M. Gómez-Delgado and Stefano Tarantola. GLOBAL sensitivity analysis, GIS and multi-criteria evaluation for a sustainable planning of a hazardous waste disposal site in spain. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 20(4):449-466, 2006. URL:
  4. Piotr Jankowski, Michal Czepkiewicz, Marek Mlodkowski, and Zbigniew Zwolinski. Geo-questionnaire: A method and tool for public preference elicitation in land use planning. Trans. GIS, 20(6):903-924, 2016. URL:
  5. Jeon-Young Kang, Alexander Michels, Andrew Crooks, Jared Aldstadt, and Shaowen Wang. An integrated framework of global sensitivity analysis and calibration for spatially explicit agent-based models. Trans. GIS, 26(1):100-128, 2022. URL:
  6. Arika Ligmann-Zielinska and Piotr Jankowski. Spatially-explicit integrated uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of criteria weights in multicriteria land suitability evaluation. Environ. Model. Softw., 57:235-247, 2014. URL:
  7. Linda Lilburne and Stefano Tarantola. Sensitivity analysis of spatial models. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 23(2):151-168, 2009. URL:
  8. Jacek Malczewski and Piotr Jankowski. Emerging trends and research frontiers in spatial multicriteria analysis. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 34(7):1257-1282, 2020. URL:
  9. Alicja Najwer, Piotr Jankowski, Jacek Niesterowicz, and Zbigniew Zwolinski. Geodiversity assessment with global and local spatial multicriteria analysis. Int. J. Appl. Earth Obs. Geoinformation, 107:102665, 2022. URL:
  10. Seda Salap-Ayça and Piotr Jankowski. Integrating local multi-criteria evaluation with spatially explicit uncertainty-sensitivity analysis. Spatial Cogn. Comput., 16(2):106-132, 2016. URL:
  11. Seda Salap-Ayça, Piotr Jankowski, Keith C. Clarke, Phaedon C. Kyriakidis, and Atsushi Nara. A meta-modeling approach for spatio-temporal uncertainty and sensitivity analysis: an application for a cellular automata-based urban growth and land-use change model. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 32(4):637-662, 2018. URL:
  12. Andrea Saltelli and Paola Annoni. How to avoid a perfunctory sensitivity analysis. Environ. Model. Softw., 25(12):1508-1517, 2010. URL:
  13. Andrea Saltelli, Paola Annoni, Ivano Azzini, Francesca Campolongo, Marco Ratto, and Stefano Tarantola. Variance based sensitivity analysis of model output. design and estimator for the total sensitivity index. Comput. Phys. Commun., 181(2):259-270, 2010. URL:
  14. Ilyia M. Sobol. Global sensitivity indices for nonlinear mathematical models and their Monte Carlo estimates. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 55(1-3):271-280, 2001. URL:
  15. Chen Yun, Jia Yu, and Shahbaz Khan. The spatial framework for weight sensitivity analysis in AHP-based multi-criteria decision making. Environmental Modelling and Software, 48(October 2013):129-140, 2013. URL:
  16. Zbigniew Zwoliński, Alicja Najwer, and Marco Giardino. Geoheritage: Assessment, Protection, and Management, chapter 2, pages 27-52. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2018. Google Scholar
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