Prior and posterior linear pooling for combining expert opinions: uses and impact on Bayesian networks — the case of the Wayfinding Model

Farr, Charisse and Ruggeri, Fabrizio and Mengersen, Kerrie (2018) Prior and posterior linear pooling for combining expert opinions: uses and impact on Bayesian networks — the case of the Wayfinding Model. Entropy, 20 (3 - Article 209).

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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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 05:30
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 04:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: bayesian networks; linear pooling; posterior pooling; prior pooling; wayfinding; expert opinions
Fields of Research : 01 Mathematical Sciences > 0104 Statistics > 010401 Applied Statistics
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3390/e20030209

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