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Factors influencing intelligence analysts performance in using Bayesian and automated analysis of competing hypotheses

22 February 2012

Mohammad Gaballa



The study examines the impact of using different analytical methods in intelligence analysis on the final judgment. The analytical methodology under consideration is the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses. The study focused on the Automated ACH and Bayesian ACH, along with intuitive judgement as a reference.  The research question is: “Is the Bayesian ACH better in safeguarding against analysis pitfalls than Automated ACH?”
The main findings of the study indicate that the relation between hypotheses and evidence proved to be a crucial problem. The Bayesian ACH is the approach that considers this problem more. In additions, the Bayesian has unique consideration for the background judgement which proved to be influential in the final judgment. The second crucial problem is the participants’ limited ability to assess the diagnosticity of evidence.
This project has been conducted using data and support from a key government department, a leading investment bank, a leading political risk consultancy firm in the UK.