Bayesian Argumentation via Delphi

Bayesian Reasoning For Better Thinking

The Delphi Team

The Strathclyde team are responsible for adapting the Delphi decision making method to allow intelligence analysts to interact with Bayesian networks during their decision making processes.

Designed by the RAND Corporation in the 1950s, the Delphi Technique is used to elicit and combine expert judgements to obtain better predictions about future events than might be obtained during a traditional group meeting. Anonymously, individuals offer responses to a series of questions, such as the probability of an event occurring. A facilitator then aggregates the responses and feeds them back to the group, sometimes accompanied by the reasons for the responses. Individuals are then given the option of revising their responses on the basis of the feedback received. This elicitation and controlled feedback process continues through several iterations, or rounds, until a predetermined stopping point is reached (for example, until a consensus is reached). The anonymity of participants in the process makes Delphi less susceptible to group decision making biases, such as ‘groupthink’ and ‘social loafing’.

A Bayesian Network (see below) is a probabilistic graphical model that represents a set of random variables and their conditional dependencies.


Example of causal Bayesian Network

This project expands the use of multigroup Delphi by focusing on the utilization of the Delphi Technique for developing and refining individual causal models of the world and aggregating them into a single group model, in the form of a Bayesian Network (see above), and subsequently exploring how this novel approach could help guide group decision-making.

The Delphi Team will focus on organizing and running the Delphi elicitation groups at the center of this proposal, which will be the main means of testing and improving the techniques and tools envisioned in this project. The Team will test the best ways to elicit, combine and review the input of participants. They are renowned experts in Delphi methods and perfectly placed to trial and critique the web-based graphical user interfaces (GUI) elicitation tools delivered by the Design Team. The Delphi Team will also oversee the development of training materials for using the Delphi elicitation tools and for administering the system.


Strathclyde Business School

The Delphi team are based in Strathclyde Business School, part of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow City Centre.


Strathclyde Business School

The Business School has several computer labs suitable for running Delphi sessions.


A lab used for Delphi experiments


Delphi Lab Members

Dr Fergus Bolger – Consultant, Leader

Dr Gene Rowe – Consultant

Prof George Wright

Sharon Locke – Administrator

Ian Belton – Research Associate

Megan Grime – Research Assistant

Dr Iain Hamlin – Research Associate

Alice MacDonald – Research Assistant

    The BARD project is funded by IARPA’s CREATE Program