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Entropy 2018, 20(3), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/e20030209

Prior and Posterior Linear Pooling for Combining Expert Opinions: Uses and Impact on Bayesian Networks—The Case of the Wayfinding Model

1
School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Matematica Applicata e Tecnologie Informatiche, 20133 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foundations of Statistics)
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Abstract

The use of expert knowledge to quantify a Bayesian Network (BN) is necessary when data is not available. This however raises questions regarding how opinions from multiple experts can be used in a BN. Linear pooling is a popular method for combining probability assessments from multiple experts. In particular, Prior Linear Pooling (PrLP), which pools opinions and then places them into the BN, is a common method. This paper considers this approach and an alternative pooling method, Posterior Linear Pooling (PoLP). The PoLP method constructs a BN for each expert, and then pools the resulting probabilities at the nodes of interest. The advantages and disadvantages of these two methods are identified and compared and the methods are applied to an existing BN, the Wayfinding Bayesian Network Model, to investigate the behavior of different groups of people and how these different methods may be able to capture such differences. The paper focusses on six nodes Human Factors, Environmental Factors, Wayfinding, Communication, Visual Elements of Communication and Navigation Pathway, and three subgroups Gender (Female, Male), Travel Experience (Experienced, Inexperienced), and Travel Purpose (Business, Personal), and finds that different behaviors can indeed be captured by the different methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: bayesian networks; linear pooling; posterior pooling; prior pooling; wayfinding; expert opinions bayesian networks; linear pooling; posterior pooling; prior pooling; wayfinding; expert opinions
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Farr, C.; Ruggeri, F.; Mengersen, K. Prior and Posterior Linear Pooling for Combining Expert Opinions: Uses and Impact on Bayesian Networks—The Case of the Wayfinding Model. Entropy 2018, 20, 209.

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