Delphi Method

The Delphi method ( /ˈdɛlfaɪ/ DEL-fy) is a structured communication technique, originally developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts.

In the standard version, the experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds. After each round, a facilitator provides an anonymous summary of the experts’ forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. Thus, experts are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of their panel. It is believed that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge towards the "correct" answer. Finally, the process is stopped after a pre-defined stop criterion (e.g. number of rounds, achievement of consensus, stability of results) and the mean or median scores of the final rounds determine the results.

Other versions, such as the Policy Delphi, have been designed for normative and explorative use, particularly in the area of social policy and public health. In Europe, more recent web-based experiments have used the Delphi method as a communication technique for interactive decision-making and e-democracy.

Delphi is based on the principle that forecasts (or decisions) from a structured group of individuals are more accurate than those from unstructured groups. This has been indicated with the term "collective intelligence". The technique can also be adapted for use in face-to-face meetings, and is then called mini-Delphi or Estimate-Talk-Estimate (ETE). Delphi has been widely used for business forecasting and has certain advantages over another structured forecasting approach, prediction markets.

Read more about Delphi MethodHistory, Key Characteristics, Role of The Facilitator, Use in Forecasting, Acceptance, Use in Policy-making, Delphi Applications Not Aiming At Consensus, Delphi Vs. Prediction Markets, Online Delphi Forecasting Systems, Software

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