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In science, engineering, and research, expert elicitation is the synthesis of opinions of experts of a subject where there is uncertainty due to insufficient data, when such data is unattainable because of physical constraints or lack of resources. Expert elicitation is essentially a scientific consensus methodology. It is often used in the study of rare events. Expert elicitation allows for parameterization, an "educated guess", for the respective topic under study. Expert elicitation generally quantifies uncertainty.

Expert elicitation tends to be multidisciplinary as well as interdisciplinary, with practically universal applicability, and is used in a broad range of fields. Prominent recent expert elicitation applications are to climate change, modeling seismic hazard and damage, association of tornado damage to wind speed in developing the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and risk analysis for nuclear waste storage.

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For further reading

  • Apostolakis, G., 7 December 1990: The concept of probability in safety assessments of technological systems. Science, 250 (4986): 1359-1364. DOI: 10.1126/science.2255906
  • Arkes, Hal R., Jeryl L. Mumpower, and Thomas R. Stewart, 24 January 1997: Combining Expert Opinions. Science, 275: 461-465. DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5299.461e
  • Boissonnade, A., Hossain, Q., Kimbell, J., Mensing, R., and Savy, J., 2000: Development of a probabilistic tornado wind hazard model for the Continental United States, UCRL-ID-140922 Vol. I, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratorymarker, Livermore, CA, 131pp.
  • Kerr, Richard A., 8 November 1996: Risk Assessment: A New Way to Ask the Experts: Rating Radioactive Waste Risks. Science, 274 (5289): 913-914. DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5289.913
  • SSHAC, 1997: Recommendations for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis: guidelines on uncertainty and use of experts, NUREG/CR-6372, UCRL-ID-122160, Vol. I, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratorymarker, Livermore, CA, 131 pp.

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