Dec 25 2021
Always the Hurricanes Blowing
Atlantic hurricanes hurt people and destroy property around the Gulf of Mexico every year. Whether climate change is increasing their frequency is a serious question. Don Wheeler just had a column on this subject in the latest Quality Digest. It’s about Torturing the Data. He argues that we should be careful about not force-fitting models to arrive at pre-ordained conclusions.
His way of not torturing the history of hurricanes in the Atlantic is plotting yearly counts on, what else, an XmR chart. It’s just as he would for hole diameters in metal plates coming off a production line in 1945. Hurricanes and holes in metal plates, however, have different backstories.
Jun 12 2022
Perspectives On Probability In Operations
The spirited discussions on LinkedIn about whether probabilities are relative frequencies or quantifications of beliefs are guaranteed to baffle practitioners. They come up in threads about manufacturing quality, supply-chain management, and public health, and do not generate much light. Their participants trade barbs without much civility, and without actually exchanging on substance.
The latest one, by Alexander von Felbert, is among the more thoughtful, and therefore unlikely to inspire rants. I do, however, fault it with using words like “aleatory” or “epistemic” that I don’t think are helpful. I am trying to discuss it here in everyday language, and to apply the concepts to numerically specific cases, with an eye to operations.
While there are genuinely great and not-so-great ideas, the root of the most violent disagreements is elsewhere, with individuals generalizing from different experience bases. You may map probability to reality differently depending on whether you are developing drugs in the pharmaceutical industry, enhancing yield in a semiconductor process, or driving down dppms in auto parts. The math doesn’t care as long as you follow its rules, and it doesn’t invalidate other interpretations.
By Michel Baudin • Data science • 0 • Tags: Bayesian Statistics, data science, Probability, statistics