The Annals of Statistics

On Reaching a Consensus Using Degroot's Iterative Pooling

Gustavo L. Gilardoni and Murray K. Clayton

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We consider a group of k experts each having a subjective probability distribution for a parameter $\theta$. If the members of the group are allowed to know the others' opinions and they appreciate the others' skills, it is likely that each expert will modify his distribution to account for this new information. This process can be continued indefinitely leading to an iterative pooling process. The main issue is whether the experts'distributions will converge towards a common limit or consensus. Several authors have considered this iterative process when the experts' distributions at a given stage are linear opinion pools of the distributions at the previous stage. In this paper we extend the model for the specific case where the experts use logarithmic opinion pools and, more broadly, for pools in a wide class that generalizes both the linear and the logarithmic pools. It is shown that the consensus properties in the logarithmic pool case are essentially the same as in the linear pool case, and that this fact uniquely characterizes both pools in the wide class mentioned above.

Article information

Ann. Statist., Volume 21, Number 1 (1993), 391-401.

First available in Project Euclid: 12 April 2007

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Digital Object Identifier

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier


Primary: 62A15
Secondary: 60J20: Applications of Markov chains and discrete-time Markov processes on general state spaces (social mobility, learning theory, industrial processes, etc.) [See also 90B30, 91D10, 91D35, 91E40] 90A07 39B12: Iteration theory, iterative and composite equations [See also 26A18, 30D05, 37-XX]

Logarithmic opinion pool linear opinion pool quasi-linear opinion pool expert opinions Bayesian inference


Gilardoni, Gustavo L.; Clayton, Murray K. On Reaching a Consensus Using Degroot's Iterative Pooling. Ann. Statist. 21 (1993), no. 1, 391--401. doi:10.1214/aos/1176349032.

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