Publications / SAND Report

Analyst-to-Analyst Variability in Simulation-Based Prediction

Glickman, Matthew R.; Romero, Vicente J.

This report describes findings from the culminating experiment of the LDRD project entitled, "Analyst-to-Analyst Variability in Simulation-Based Prediction". For this experiment, volunteer participants solving a given test problem in engineering and statistics were interviewed at different points in their solution process. These interviews are used to trace differing solutions to differing solution processes, and differing processes to differences in reasoning, assumptions, and judgments. The issue that the experiment was designed to illuminate -- our paucity of understanding of the ways in which humans themselves have an impact on predictions derived from complex computational simulations -- is a challenging and open one. Although solution of the test problem by analyst participants in this experiment has taken much more time than originally anticipated, and is continuing past the end of this LDRD, this project has provided a rare opportunity to explore analyst-to-analyst variability in significant depth, from which we derive evidence-based insights to guide further explorations in this important area.