A practical treatment of sensitivity analyses in activity level evaluations

Duncan Taylor, Bas Kokshoorn, Christophe Champod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evaluations of forensic observations considering activity level propositions are becoming more common place in forensic institutions. A measure that can be taken to interrogate the evaluation for robustness is called sensitivity analysis. A sensitivity analysis explores the sensitivity of the evaluation to the data used when assigning probabilities, or to the level of uncertainty surrounding a probability assignment, or to the choice of various assumptions within the model. There have been a number of publications that describe sensitivity analysis in technical terms, and demonstrate their use, but limited literature on how that theory can be applied in practice. In this work we provide some simplified examples of how sensitivity analyses can be carried out, when they are likely to show that the evaluation is sensitive to underlying data, knowledge or assumptions, how to interpret the results of sensitivity analysis, and how the outcome can be reported. We also provide access to an application to conduct sensitivity analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111944
Number of pages11
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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