1988 volume 20(5) pages 669 – 679

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Tonn B E, 1988, "A method for the nonstatistical assessment of behaviorally-based policy models" Environment and Planning A 20(5) 669 – 679

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A method for the nonstatistical assessment of behaviorally-based policy models

B E Tonn

Received 6 March 1987; in revised form 13 July 1987

Abstract. Advanced computer-technology, sophisticated econometric computer-software, and the increasing availability of disaggregated data have all facilitated the development and use, for planning and policy analysis, of statistically-estimated mathematical models of human behavior. In this paper the author presents a method to judge subjectively the quality of these models and illustrates how the results of the method can be used, with statistical measures of the quality of a model, as indicators of the predictive abilities of the model. Ideas are drawn from the literature on artificial intelligence, and the concern is how to represent and manipulate subjective judgments. Five models which are related to household energy-use behavior are subjectively assessed, statistically estimated, and used to predict future behavior. In four of the five cases, the subjective assessments, in combination with the statistical measures, correctly indicate the quality of the predictive accuracy of a model.

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