ENBIS-18 in Nancy

2 – 25 September 2018; Ecoles des Mines, Nancy (France) Abstract submission: 20 December 2017 – 4 June 2018

Statistical Engineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

3 September 2018, 11:00 – 11:30

Abstract

Submitted by
Roger Hoerl
Authors
Roger Hoerl (Union College)
Abstract
Most problems discussed in statistics textbooks, journals, and conference sessions tend to be well-defined, fairly narrow in scope, and have a single “correct” analysis. In the words of Xiao-Li Meng, they “...correspond to a recognizable textbook chapter.” However, real problems faced by statisticians, and other professionals utilizing statistics, are often large, complex, and unstructured. For example, there may not be agreement on exactly what the real problem actually is. Further, these problems are usually too complex to be solved with one statistical method, and require a sequential approach integrating multiple methods in an overall problem solving strategy. If individual tools, no matter how powerful, are not effective at addressing such problems, what approaches should practitioners use? Can these approaches be studied, researched, and perfected over time? I argue that the discipline known as statistical engineering, which focuses on creative integration of multiple methods, is a viable approach for attacking such problems. It is perhaps the only viable approach. This will be illustrated with a large, complex, unstructured problem from GE Global Research. In addition, the current state of the theory and practice of statistical engineering will be presented.

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