Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Systems Modeling and Analysis

First Advisor

Dr. Jason Merrick


Combining multiple forecasts in order to generate a single, more accurate one is a well-known approach. A simple average of forecasts has been found to be robust despite theoretically better approaches, increasing availability in the number of expert forecasts, and improved computational capabilities. The dominance of a simple average is related to the small sample sizes and to the estimation errors associated with more complex methods. We study the role that expert correlation, multiple experts, and their relative forecasting accuracy have on the weight estimation error distribution. The distributions we find are used to identify the conditions when a decision maker can confidently estimate weights versus using a simple average. We also propose an improved expert weighting approach that is less sensitive to covariance estimation error while providing much of the benefit from a covariance optimal weight. These two improvements create a new heuristic for better forecast aggregation that is simple to use. This heuristic appears new to the literature and is shown to perform better than a simple average in a simulation study and by application to economic forecast data.


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