Paper Published: Does Information Theory Provide a New Paradigm for Earth Science? Hypothesis Testing

News / Friday, March 6th, 2020

Nearing, G. S., Ruddell, B. L., Bennett, A. R., Prieto, C., & Gupta, H. V. (2020). Does information theory provide a new paradigm for earth science? Hypothesis testing. Water Resources Research, 56, e2019WR024918.


Model evaluation and hypothesis testing are fundamental to any field of science. We propose here that by changing slightly the way we think and communicate about inference—from being fundamentally a problem of uncertainty quantification to being a problem of information quantification—allows us to avoid certain problems related to testing models as hypotheses. We propose that scientists are typically interested in assessing the information provided by models, not the truth value or likelihood of a model. Information theory allows us to formalize this perspective.