1st Edition

Elicitation of Expert Opinions for Uncertainty and Risks

By Bilal M. Ayyub Copyright 2001
    324 Pages 75 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Experts, despite their importance and value, can be double-edged swords. They can make valuable contributions from their deep base of knowledge, but those contributions may also contain their own biases and pet theories. Therefore, selecting experts, eliciting their opinions, and aggregating their opinions must be performed and handled carefully, with full recognition of the uncertainties inherent in those opinions.

    Elicitation of Expert Opinions for Uncertainty and Risks illuminates those uncertainties and builds a foundation of philosophy, background, methods, and guidelines that helps its readers effectively execute the elicitation process. Based on the first-hand experiences of the author, the book is filled with illustrations, examples, case studies, and applications that demonstrate not only the methods and successes of expert opinion elicitation, but also its pitfalls and failures.

    Studies show that in the future, analysts, engineers, and scientists will need to solve ever more complex problems and reach decisions with limited resources. This will lead to an increased reliance on the proper treatment of uncertainty and on the use of expert opinions. Elicitation of Expert Opinions for Uncertainty and Risks will help prepare you to better understand knowledge and ignorance, to successfully elicit expert opinions, to select appropriate expressions of those opinions, and to use various methods to model and aggregate opinions.

    Knowledge and Ignorance
    Information Abundance and Ignorance
    The Nature of Knowledge
    Cognition and Cognitive Science
    Time and its Asymmetry
    Defining Ignorance in the Context of Knowledge
    Exercise Problems
    Information-Based System Definition
    System Definition Models
    Hierarchical Definitions of Systems
    Models for Ignorance and Uncertainty Types
    Systems Complexity
    Exercise Problems
    Experts, Opinions, and Elicitation Methods
    Experts, and Expert Opinions
    Historical Background
    Scientific Heuristics
    Rational Consensus
    Elicitation Methods
    Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
    Methods of Social Research
    Focus Groups
    Exercise Problems
    Expressing and Modeling Expert Opinions
    Set Theory
    Monotone Measures
    Exercise Problems
    Consensus and Aggregating Expert Opinions
    Methods of Scoring of Expert Opinions
    Uncertainty Measures
    Combining Expert Opinions
    Exercise Problems
    Guidance on Expert-Opinion Elicitation
    Introduction and Terminology
    Classification of Issues, Study Levels, Experts, and Process Outcomes
    Process Definition
    Need Identification for Expert-Opinion Elicitation
    Selection of Study Level and Study Leader
    Selection of Peer Reviewers and Experts
    Identification, Selection, and Development of Technical Issues
    Elicitation of Opinions
    Documentation and Communication
    Exercise Problems
    Applications of Expert-Opinion Elicitation
    Assessment of Occurrence Probabilities
    Economic Consequences of Floods


    Bilal M. Ayyub