The practice of qualitative parameterisation in the development of Bayesian networks

Steven Mascaro, Owen Woodberry, Yue Wu, Ann E. Nicholson
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI)
2024-02-20 00:00:00
The typical phases of Bayesian network (BN) structured development include specification of purpose and scope, structure development, parameterisation and validation. Structure development is typically focused on qualitative issues and parameterisation quantitative issues, however there are qualitative and quantitative issues that arise in both phases. A common step that occurs after the initial structure has been developed is to perform a rough parameterisation that only captures and illustrates the intended qualitative behaviour of the model. This is done prior to a more rigorous parameterisation, ensuring that the structure is fit for purpose, as well as supporting later development and validation. In our collective experience and in discussions with other modellers, this step is an important part of the development process, but is under-reported in the literature. Since the practice focuses on qualitative issues, despite being quantitative in nature, we call this step qualitative parameterisation and provide an outline of its role in the BN development process.
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