Experts in Uncertainty: Opinion and Subjective Probability in Science / Edition 1

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Overview

This book is an extensive survey and critical examination of the literature on the use of expert opinion in scientific inquiry and policy making. The elicitation, representation, and use of expert opinion is increasingly important for two reasons: advancing technology leads to more and more complex decision problems, and technologists are turning in greater numbers to "expert systems" and other similar artifacts of artificial intelligence. Cooke here considers how expert opinion is being used today, how an expert's uncertainty is or should be represented, how people do or should reason with uncertainty, how the quality and usefulness of expert opinion can be assessed, and how the views of several experts might be combined. He argues for the importance of developing practical models with a transparent mathematic foundation for the use of expert opinion in science, and presents three tested models, termed "classical," "Bayesian," and "psychological scaling." Detailed case studies illustrate how they can be applied to a diversity of real problems in engineering and planning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[An] excellent volume....No one...has systematically and methodically addressed how subjective probabilities ought to be used in estimating and evaluating societal risks. This is the accomplishment of the Cooke volume."—Risk

"Displays the state of the art in the techniques of using expert opinion for estimating contingencies that cannot be assessed directly....To be warmly welcomed as a contribution to a discussion which is by no means ended."—New Scientist

"The strengths of the book are its comprehensive examination of the contemporary practice and use of expert opinion, and its detailed case studies as illustrations. Its style is clear and the exposition of ideas well organized and thoroughly and intelligently presented."—Choice

"The book is the first to provide an account of this novel field and provides an admirable survey of many ideas emerging therein." —Mathematical Reviews

"A very useful, readable survey of the economic, statistical, psychological, and mathematical considerations that arise in using expert opinion. It will be excellent background reading for my students."—A. Paltiel, Harvard School of Public Health

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Delft University of Technology
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