Pedigree Matrix for Observational Uncertainty Analysis

Pedigree Matrix for Observational Uncertainty Analysis (Ellis et al., 2000a, 200b).


Statistical quality

Empirical quality

Methodological quality


Excellent fit to a well-known statistical model (Normal, Lognormal, Binomial etc.) Controlled experiments & large sample direct measurements (n > 50). Approved standard in well-established discipline.


Good fit to a reliable statistical model by most fitting tests, but not all Historical/field data, uncontrolled experiments, small sample direct measurements (n < 50) Reliable method, common within discipline


Fitting tests not significant, model not clearly related to data, or model inferred from similar data Modeled data, indirect measurements, handbook estimates Acceptable method, but limited consensus on reliability


No statistical tests or fitting, subjective model Educated guesses, very indirect approximations, "rule of thumb" estimates Unproven methods, questionable reliability


Ignorance model (Uniform) Pure guesses Purely subjective method

Ellis, E.C., R.G. Li, L.Z. Yang, X. Cheng, Long-term change in village-scale ecosystems in China using landscape and statistical methods. Ecological Applications, 10 (4), 2000a, pp. 1057-1073.

Ellis, E.C., R.G. Li, L.Z. Yang, X. Cheng, Changes in Village-scale nitrogen storage in China's Tai Lake region. Ecological Applications, 10 (4), 2000b, pp. 1074-1096.

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