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Racing Horses: Constructing and Evaluating Forecasts in Political Science
Brandt, Patrick
Freeman, John R.
Schrodt, Philip

Uploaded 07-27-2011
Keywords forecasting
political conflict
scoring rules
model training
forecast density
verification rank histogram
probability integral transform
Abstract We review methods for forecast evaluations and how they can be used in political sciences. We examine how forecast densities are more useful summaries of forecasted variables than point metrics. We also cover how continuous rank probability scores, probability integral transforms, and verification rank histograms can be used to calibrate and evaluate forecast performance. Finally, we present two illustrations, one a simulation and the other a comparison of forecasting models for the China-Taiwan (cross-straits) conflict.

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