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Table 1 Typology of uncertainty

From: Dealing with uncertainties in environmental burden of disease assessment

Uncertainty characterizations Categories
Location: the location at which the uncertainty manifests itself in the assessment Model structure: Structure and form of the relationships between the variables that describe the system
  Parameters: Constants in functions that define the relationships between variables (such as relative risks or severity weights)
  Input data: Input data sets (such as concentrations, demographic data, and incidence data)
Nature: the underlying cause of the uncertainty Epistemic: resulting from incomplete knowledge
  Ontic Process variability: resulting from natural and social variability in the system
   Normative uncertainty: resulting from a plurality of socio-ethico-normative considerations within a society
Range: expression of the uncertainty Statistical (range + chance): specified probabilities and specified outcomes
  Scenario (range + "what if"): specified outcomes, but unspecified probabilities
Recognized ignorance: unknown outcomes, unknown probabilities – uncertainties are present, but no useful estimate can be given
Methodological unreliability: Methodological quality of all different elements of the assessment; a qualitative judgment of the assessment process which can based on e.g. its theoretical foundation, empirical basis, reproducibility and acceptance within the peer community
Value diversity among analysts: Potential value-ladenness of assumptions which inevitably involve – to some degree – arbitrary judgments by the analysts.