End-User Probabilistic Programming

Judith Borghouts, Andrew D. Gordon, Advait Sarkar, Neil Toronto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

Abstract / Description of output

Probabilistic programming aims to help users make decisions under uncertainty. The user writes code representing a probabilistic model, and receives outcomes as distributions or summary statistics. We consider probabilistic programming for end-users, in particular spreadsheet users, estimated to number in tens to hundreds of millions. We examine the sources of uncertainty actually encountered by spreadsheet users, and their coping mechanisms, via an interview study. We examine spreadsheet-based interfaces and technology to help reason under uncertainty, via probabilistic and other means. We show how uncertain values can propagate uncertainty through spreadsheets, and how sheet-defined functions can be applied to handle uncertainty. Hence, we draw conclusions about the promise and limitations of probabilistic programming for end-users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantitative Evaluation of Systems
Subtitle of host publicationQEST 2019
EditorsDavid Parker, Verena Wolf
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-30281-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-30280-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019
Event16th International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of SysTems - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 201912 Sept 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference16th International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of SysTems
Abbreviated titleQEST 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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