Tags » Probability And Risk

My Trouble with Bayes

In past consulting work I’ve wrestled with subjective probability values derived from expert opinion. Subjective probability is an interpretation of probability based on a degree of belief (i.e., hypothetical willingness to bet on a position) as opposed a value derived from measured frequencies of occurrences (related posts: … 1,159 more words

Philosophy Of Science

Jeter and Justice

Back in 1996, Dave Jeter, who now holds five Silver Slugger awards,  was Rookie of the Year. His batting average for both 1995 and 1996 was below that of David Justice, 1990 Rookie of the Year, and holder of two Silver Slugger awards. 191 more words

Probability And Risk

More Philosophy for Engineers

In a post on Richard Feynman and philosophy of science, I suggested that engineers would benefit from a class in philosophy of science. A student recently asked if I meant to say that a course in philosophy would make engineers better at engineering – or better philosophers. 679 more words


A New Era of Risk Management?

The quality of risk management has mostly fallen for the past few decades. There are signs of change for the better.

Risk management is a broad field; many kinds of risk must be managed. 1,441 more words

Probability And Risk

Common-Mode Failure Driven Home

In a recent post I mentioned that probabilistic failure models are highly vulnerable to wrong assumptions of independence of failures, especially in redundant system designs. Common-mode failures in multiple channels defeats the purpose of redundancy in fault-tolerant designs. 1,093 more words

Probability And Risk

Belief in Probability - Part 2

Last time I started with my friend Willie’s bold claim that he doesn’t believe in probability; then I gave a short history of probability. I observed that defining probability is a controversial matter, split between objective and subjective interpretations. 1,411 more words

Probability And Risk

Belief in Probability - Part 1

Years ago in a meeting on design of a complex, redundant system for a commercial jet, I referred to probabilities of various component failures. In front of this group of seasoned engineers, a highly respected, senior member of the team interjected, “I don’t believe in probability.” His proclamation stopped me cold. 879 more words