The proper use of engineering design methods requires an understanding of their applicability and limitations, since all design methods are, at least to a certain extent, empirically based. Equations or constants used within design methods are frequently based on curve fits to data from experiments. Typically, the experiments used to develop the correlations were conducted under a limited set of conditions, e.g., compartment sizes, heat release rates or fire growth rates. If the design method is used for an application that falls outside of the bounds of the experiments used to develop the correlations used in the design method, uncertainty may be introduced. The potential for uncertainty in computer models is greater than within basic closed form equations. Errors can be introduced in the numerical methods used to solve integral or differential equations, or more simply in math errors that were created during coding of the program.
Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, 4th International Conference
and Madrzykowski, D.
Evaluation of the Computer Fire Model DETACT-QS, Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, 4th International Conference, Melbourne, AU, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=910216
(Accessed March 3, 2024)