Using Cross-Impact Analysis for Probabilistic Risk Assessment

Salo, A, Tosoni, E, Roponen, J and Bunn, D W (2022) Using Cross-Impact Analysis for Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Futures and Foresight Science, 4 (2). e2103. ISSN 2573-5152 OPEN ACCESS


Cross-impact analysis is widely employed to inform management and policy decisions based on the formulation of scenarios which are defined as combinations of outcomes of relevant uncertainty factors. In this paper, we argue that the use of non-probabilistic variants of cross-impact analysis is problematic in the context of risk assessment where the aim usually is to produce conservative risk estimates which may exceed but are not smaller than the actual risk level. Then, building on the characterization of probabilistic dependencies, we develop an approach to probabilistic cross-impact analysis which (i) admits several kinds of probabilistic statements about the outcomes of relevant uncertainty factors and their dependencies; (ii) maps such statements into constraints on the joint probability distribution over all possible scenarios; (iii) provides support for preserving the consistency of elicited statements; and (iv) uses mathematical optimization to compute lower and upper bounds on the overall risk level. This approach{which is illustrated with an example from the context of nuclear waste repositories{is useful in that it retains the informativeness of cross-impact statements while ensuring that these statements are interpreted within the coherent framework of probability theory.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Management Science and Operations
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 11:55
Date of first compliant deposit: 08 Sep 2021
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2024 01:44

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