Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2013

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Symposium: Foundational issues in risk analysis Part III

Room: Johnson B   1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Chair(s): Torbjorn Bjerga

W3-K.1  13:30  Probability theory for inductive reasoning: The "necessarist" viewpoint as an alternative, and supplement, to subjective probability. . North DW*; NorthWorks, Inc.

Abstract: Many practitioners of decision analysis (applied Bayesian decision theory) regard its foundation for the use of probability theory as the axiomatization by Leonard J. Savage, and the procedure for assessing probabilities as subjective judgment in choosing among wagers. Another tradition, the “necessarist” approach, views probability theory as the logic for scientific inference. That is, judgments are in principle built up from available information using an explicit formal process, rather than dependent on the individual cognition of subjects as the source for the probability judgments - with the multiple potentials for biases that have been explored in psychological research. The basis for the necessarist approach can be found in the writings of Laplace, two centuries ago. Early twentieth century scholars include economist John Maynard Keynes and geophysicist Harold Jeffreys. Later contributors include Bruno de Finetti, physicist Richard T. Cox, and physicist E.T. Jaynes, whose 2003 book, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science provides one of the best recent expositions of the necessarist viewpoint. We review this history and provide an overview of how symmetry or invariance, generalizations of Laplace’s Principle of Insufficient Reason, can provide the basis for choosing probabilities in a way that avoids recourse to subjective judgments about wagers.

W3-K.2  13:50  Reflections on how to conceptualize and assess the performance and risk of different types of complex systems. Nateghi R*; Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: This talk provides some reflections on how to conceptualize and assess the performance and risk of complex systems that are impacted by a wide range of endogenous and exogenous stressors, such as energy systems. Different performance and risk metrics are discussed, both qualitative and quantitative, using probability and alternative ways of expressing uncertainties. The suitability of these metrics are studied under different frame conditions such as the assessment’s timeline; uncertain future regulations and policies; technological, environmental and demographic changes, etc.

W3-K.3  14:10  Adaptive risk management using the new risk perspectives – an example from the oil and gas industry. Bjerga T*, Aven T; University of Stavanger

Abstract: This paper discusses management of risk in case of large uncertainties, and the use of adaptive risk management in such situations. This type of management is based on the acknowledgement that one best decision cannot be made but rather a set of alternatives should be dynamically tracked to gain information and knowledge about the effects of different courses of action. In the paper we study a case from the oil and gas industry, the main aim being to gain insights on how the adaptive risk management could be implemented when giving due attention to the knowledge and uncertainty aspects of risk. In recent years several authors have argued for the adoption of some new types of risk perspectives which highlight uncertainties and knowledge rather than probabilities in the way risk is understood and measured - the present paper is using these perspectives as the basis for the discussion.

W3-K.4  14:30  DECISION CRITERIA FOR UPDATING TEST INTERVALS FOR WELL BARRIERS. Gelyani A.M.*, Abrahamsen E.B., Selvik J.T.; Authors 1 and 2: University of Stavanger, Norway; Author 3: International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Norway

Abstract: In this paper we discuss whether or not decision upon test intervals for well barriers should adopt the same decision criteria as those recently suggested for Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). We conclude that the criterion suggested for halving the test intervals for SIS is appropriate to use also for well barriers. The criterion for doubling the test interval for SIS is however not considered appropriate, as this criterion does not give a sufficient weight to the cautionary principle. A new type of criterion for doubling the test interval for well barriers that better reflects the uncertainties is suggested.

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