Peer Disagreement and Independence Preservation

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Wagner, Carl
conference paper description
It has often been recommended that the differing probability distributions of a group of experts should be reconciled in such a way as to preserve any agreement on the stochastic independence of events. When probability pooling is conceived in analogy with the multi-profile social welfare theory of Arrow, there are severe limitations on implementing this recommendation. In particular, when the individuals are epistemic peers whose probability assessments are to be accorded equal weight by means of some type of averaging function, universal preservation of independence is, with a few exceptions, impossible. As an alternative, we consider here probability pooling conceived in analogy with the single profile social welfare theory of Bergson and Samuelson, and we describe several methods of preserving common instances of epistemically significant independence in this framework.