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Combining Expert Judgments: A Bayesian Approach

  • Peter A. Morris

    (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center)

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    This paper presents a new approach to the problem of expert resolution. The proposed analytic structure provides a mechanism by which a decision maker can incorporate the possibly conflicting probability assessments of a group of experts. The approach is based upon the Bayesian inferential framework presented in [Morris, P. A. 1974. Decision analysis expert use. Management Sci. 20 (9, May)]. A number of specific results are derived from analysis of a generic model structure. In the single expert continuous variable case, we prove that the decision maker should process a calibrated expert's opinion by multiplying the expert's probability assessment by his own prior probability assessment and normalizing. A method for subjectively calibrating an expert is also presented. In the multi-expert case, we obtain a simple multiplicative rule for combining the expert judgments. We also prove the existence of a composite probability function which measures the joint information contained in the probability assessments generated by a panel of experts. The interesting result is that composite prior should be processed as if it were the probability statement of a single calibrated expert.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 23 (1977)
    Issue (Month): 7 (March)
    Pages: 679-693

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:23:y:1977:i:7:p:679-693
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