General info

The Model Validation Kit is intended to be used for evaluation of atmospheric dispersion models.

It is a collection of four field data sets as well as software for model evaluation. The Kit is a practical tool intended to serve as a common frame of reference for model performance evaluation. It is, however, limited in scope, as described in the documentation.

It addresses the classic problem of dispersion from a single point source.

The Model Validation Kit has been used for a series of workshops and conferences on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory purposes.

During the series of Harmonisation conferences, many papers have referred to the Kit. The package was updated to Version 2.0 in October 2005. An update of the BOOT component took place in February 2007.

Additional data for several classic tracer dispersion experiments were published in 2012, including data from the EPRI Kincaid data set. The data available from the Kincaid experiment now comprises around double the amount of data compared what is included in the Model Validation Kit. The 'new' data are not part of the Model Validation Kit, however.

Read more on the web page Classic data sets for dispersion model evaluation.

The remainder of this page yields basic information on the kit. If you wish to go deeper, the next step is to read the Key to the Model Validation Kit (a 6-page chapter from the User's Guide; 85 KB).


A preliminary version of the Kit was used for the Harmonisation workshop in 1993, while a subsequent version was used essentially unchanged throughout the period 1994 - 2005 (in 1997, a supplement was added). It has been distributed in hardcopy ( diskette/CD and paper) to more than 250 research groups during that period.

The package was updated to Version 2.0 in October 2005. The new version allows the same studies to be carried out as the previous version, but has been revised in several respects. New software and computing environments have made it necessary to update the package. Furthermore, the documentation is significantly improved and brought up to date.

A central reference concerning the Model Validation Kit is a paper by H.R. Olesen and J.C. Chang (2010): ‘Consolidating tools for model evaluation’, Int. J. Environment and Pollution, Vol. 40, Nos. 1/2/3, pp.175–183a.

February 2nd, 2007, there has been a minor update to the BOOT software package. It addresses a problem with BOOT, which is only relevant when the BOOT software is used for other variables than concentrations. It is relevant when BOOT is used in the context of the COST action 732. Furthermore, an additional utility has been included with the BOOT package. It serves to compute the so-called Hit Rate. Read more...

June 21, 2007 a small problem with the Hit Rate utility was fixed: The program returned with a cryptic error if the number of models or blocks was greater than 9. The limit for blocks is now 50.

You may wish to see a list of papers on the Model Validation Kit.

An alternative to the Kit exists in the form of the so-called ASTM procedure. More details...

Contents of the Model Validation Kit

The package contains the following main elements:

  • A comprehensive User's Guide (1.2 MB);
  • Field data sets from Kincaid, Indianapolis, Copenhagen and Lillestrom;
  • The BOOT statistical model evaluation software package;
  • Tools for exploratory data analysis, useful for diagnostic model evaluation;
  • A recommended procedure (protocol) for model performance evaluation.
  • The Dispersion Visualisation Tool, which is a utility for displaying observed concentration data from Kincaid.
  • Eight short video films from Kincaid.

The entire package has a size of 100 MB and can be downloaded.

However, it is also possible to download parts of the package separately. The package without video films has a size of 10 MB, and the 8 video films are available for download as separate files. See the Download page.

Before downloading anything, it is recommended that you read the Key to the Model Validation Kit (a 6-page chapter from the User's Guide; 85 KB).

Alternatively, you can download the entire User's Guide to the Model Validation Kit (1.2 MB).

Download page