Expert elicitation is the process of retrieving and quantifying expert knowledge in a particular domain. Such information is of particular value when the empirical data is expensive, limited or unreliable. This paper describes a new software tool, called Elicitator, which assists in quantifying expert knowledge in a form suitable for use as a prior model in Bayesian regression. Potential environmental domains for applying this elicitation tool include habitat modelling, assessing detectability or eradication, ecological condition assessments, risk analysis and quantifying inputs to complex models of ecological processes. The tool has been developed to be user-friendly, extensible and facilitate consistent and repeatable elicitation of expert knowledge across these various domains. We demonstrate its application to elicitation for logistic regression in a geographically based ecological context. The underlying statistical methodology is also novel, utilizing an indirect elicitation approach to target expert knowledge on a case-by-case basis. For several elicitation sites (or cases), experts are asked simply to quantify their estimated ecological response (e.g. probability of presence), and its range of plausible values, after inspecting (habitat) covariates via GIS.
Environmental Modelling & Software – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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