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A Simulation-Based Approach to Understanding the Wisdom of Crowds Phenomenon in Aggregating Expert Judgment

: Afflerbach, P.; Dun, C. van; Gimpel, H.; Parak, D.; Seyfried, J.

Fulltext ()

Business & information systems engineering (2020), Online First, 20 pp.
ISSN: 1867-0202
ISSN: 0937-6429
ISSN: 2363-7005
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Research has shown that aggregation of independent expert judgments significantly improves the quality of forecasts as compared to individual expert forecasts. This “wisdom of crowds” (WOC) has sparked substantial interest. However, previous studies on strengths and weaknesses of aggregation algorithms have been restricted by limited empirical data and analytical complexity. Based on a comprehensive analysis of existing knowledge on WOC and aggregation algorithms, this paper describes the design and implementation of a static stochastic simulation model to emulate WOC scenarios with a wide range of parameters. The model has been thoroughly evaluated: the assumptions are validated against propositions derived from literature, and the model has a computational representation. The applicability of the model is demonstrated by investigating aggregation algorithm behavior on a detailed level, by assessing aggregation algorithm performance, and by exploring previously undiscovered suppositions on WOC. The simulation model helps expand the understanding of WOC, where previous research was restricted. Additionally, it gives directions for developing aggregation algorithms and contributes to a general understanding of the WOC phenomenon.