Warning Systems and Risk Reduction

  • M. Elisabeth Pate-Cornell
Part of the Advances in Risk Analysis book series (AEMB, volume 220)


A probabilistic method is proposed to assess the efficiency of warning systems in terms of costs and risk reduction. This evaluation is based both on the quality of the signal and the human response to warnings. The quality of the signal is described by probabilities of correct warnings, Type I errors, and Type II errors. Human response depend on the memory that people have kept of past warnings and is described here by a Markov model. On our hypothetical example concerning a fume detector in a chemical plant, the results show that the optimum sensitivity is at an intermediate position between extreme levels.

Key Words

Warning Systems Risk Analysis Probability Signals Memory Cost-Benefit Analysis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Elisabeth Pate-Cornell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering and Egineering ManagementStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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