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Are parsimonious FF models more reliable than true ones? II. Comparative assessment of the performance of simple models versus the parent distributions

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Applying the methodology described in Strupczewski et al. (2005a; this issue), the performance of various parsimonious models combined with three estima-tion methods versus Flood Parent Distributions is comparatively assessed by simulation experiments. Moments (MOM), L-moments (LMM) and maximum likelihood (MLM) are used as alternative methods. Five four-parameter Specific Wakeby Distributions (SWaD) are employed to serve as Flood Parent Distributions and forty Distribution/Estimation (D/E) procedures are included in respect to the estimation of upper quantiles. The relative bias (RB), relative root mean square error (RRMSE) and reliability of procedures are used for the assessment of the relative performance of alternative procedures. Parsimonious two-parameter models generally perform better for hydrological sample sizes than their three-parameter counterparts with respect to RRMSE. How-ever, the best performing procedures differ for various SWaDs. As far as estimation methods are concerned, MOM usually produces the smallest values of both RB and RRMSE of upper quantiles for all competing methods. The second place in rank is occupied by LMM, whereas, MLM produces usually the highest values. Considerable influence of sampling bias on the value of the total bias has been ascertained. The improper choice of a model fitted to SWaD samples causes that the reliability of some three-parameter parsimonious D/E procedures does not always rise with the sample size. Also odd is that True model does not always give one hundred percent reliability for very large samples, as it should. This means that estimating algorithms still require improvements.
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Bibliogr. 17 poz.
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