Value of Information Analysis in Remedial Investigations
Journal article, 2007
Site investigations of contaminated land are associated with high costs. From a societal perspective, just enough economic resources should be spent on investigations so that society's limited resources can be used optimally. The solution is to design investigation programs that are cost-effective, which can be performed using Value of Information Analysis (VOIA). The principle of VOIA is to compare the benefit at the present state of knowledge with the benefit that is expected after an investigation has been performed. A framework for VOIA of site investigations is presented based on Bayesian risk-cost-benefit decision analysis. The result is an estimate of the value of an investigation program, and for specific problems, the optimal number of samples. The main strength of the methodology is that it promotes clear thinking and forces the decision-maker to reflect on issues that otherwise would be ignored. The main weakness is the complexity of VOIA models.