Prediction instrument development for complex domains

Sjoerd van der Spoel

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

380 Downloads (Pure)


Developing prediction instruments requires understanding the specific domain they are developed for. The more complex the domain is, the more factors affect the prediction outcome. For a complex domain, there is some consensus that it is important that the analysis is specific to that domain. The complexity of the domain implies that there are likely to be factors at play in the domain that are unique to that domain. A literature review of similar domains is therefore unlikely to uncover all important variables. We have developed a method for prediction instrument development that captures the 'soft' aspects that are specific to the domain. This method, Prediction Instrument Development for Complex Domains (PID-CD) starts with asking those directly involved with the domain to brainstorm on what affects what is to be predicted. Combined with observations from a field study, this leads to a set of testable hypotheses. These are combined with a set of constraints, which determine the conditions under which a predictive model is actionable. The hypotheses are converted to data selection and cleaning strategies, that determine which variables to use in a predictive model, and how noise should be removed from these variables. The constraints determine which strategies are converted to predictive models, and which predictive models have sufficient predictive performance. The domain experts and decision makers finally determine which predictive model will be used as the basis for a prediction instrument. The main contribution of this thesis is a rigorous and transparent method for domain analysis as part of prediction instrument development. We have demonstrated that this method of soft-inclusive domain analysis leads to better predictive power than would be achieved with soft-exclusive domain analysis, through having a more complete view of what factors in the domain affect the prediction outcome. Furthermore, this method allows one to directly relate predictive power with the hypotheses, contributing to better domain understanding.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Hillegersberg, Jos, Supervisor
  • Amrit, Chintan Amrit, Advisor
Award date14 Sept 2016
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4174-9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2016


  • METIS-317639
  • IR-101042


Dive into the research topics of 'Prediction instrument development for complex domains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this