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Title: Correlates of Sensitive Technologies

By “Quantitative Empirical Analysis” (QEA) is intended the use of statistical methods to infer, from data that often tend to be of a historical nature, the characteristics of states that correlate with some designated dependent variable (e.g. proliferation of nuclear weapons). QEA is a well-established approach in the social sciences, but is not notably well-known among physical scientists, who tend to think of the social sciences as inherently qualitative. This article attempts to provide a snapshot of research, most of which has evolved over the past decade, involving the application of QEA to issues in which the dependent variable of interest is intended as some measure of nuclear proliferation. Standard practices in QEA are described, especially as they relate to data collection. The QEA approach is compared and contrasted to other quantitative approaches to studying proliferation-related issues, including a “figure of merit” approach that has largely been developed within the DOE complex, and two distinct methodologies termed in a recent US National Academy of Sciences study as “case by case” and “predefined framework.” Sample results from QEA applied to proliferation are indicated, as are doubts about such quantitative approaches. A simplistic decision-theoretic model of the optimal time for the internationalmore » community to intervene in a possible proliferation scenario is used to illustrate the possibility of synergies between different approaches« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1253942
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP--11-3149
11-3149; TRN: US1601393
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; PROLIFERATION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PERFORMANCE; DECISION MAKING; STATISTICS; CORRELATIONS