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Combining Experts’ Judgments: Comparison of Algorithmic Methods using Synthetic Data

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  • Hammitt, James
  • Zhang, Yifan

Abstract

Expert judgment (or expert elicitation) is a formal process for eliciting judgments from subject-matter experts about the value of a decision-relevant quantity. Judgments in the form of subjective probability distributions are obtained from several experts, raising the question how best to combine information from multiple experts. A number of algorithmic approaches have been proposed, of which the most commonly employed is the equal-weight combination (the average of the experts’ distributions). We evaluate the properties of five combination methods (equal-weight, best-expert, performance, frequentist, and copula) using simulated expert-judgment data for which we know the process generating the experts’ distributions. We examine cases in which two well-calibrated experts are of equal or unequal quality and their judgments are independent, positively or negatively dependent. In this setting, the copula, frequentist, and best-expert approaches perform better and the equal-weight combination method performs worse than the alternative approaches.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-293.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: Published in Risk Analysis, vol.�33, n°1, janvier 2013, p.�109-120.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25761

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  1. Robert T. Clemen & Gregory W. Fischer & Robert L. Winkler, 2000. "Assessing Dependence: Some Experimental Results," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(8), pages 1100-1115, August.
  2. Robert T. Clemen & Terence Reilly, 1999. "Correlations and Copulas for Decision and Risk Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(2), pages 208-224, February.
  3. Stephen C. Hora, 2004. "Probability Judgments for Continuous Quantities: Linear Combinations and Calibration," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(5), pages 597-604, May.
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