Promising Initial Results from a New Mass-Atrocities Early Warning System
15 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 26, 2015
This paper describes the initial activity and performance of a system for eliciting and aggregating expert forecasts of mass atrocities and related events around the world. Our results so far confirm the power of aggregating predictive judgments. To date, our system's forecasts have proven quite accurate, even though the individual participants in that pool have demonstrated forecasting skill usually not much better -- and, in some cases, much worse -- than random guessing. The number of forecasting questions for which we have been able to observe eventual outcomes is still small, and nearly all of those questions have focused on events with a very low base rate. Still, we think our results add to the growing body of evidence that aggregated expert judgment can be a powerful predictive tool, even on processes as complex as the outbreak of large-scale political violence.
Keywords: prediction, forecasting, crowdsourcing, genocide, atrocities
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