Comparing Conventional and Machine-Learning Approaches to Risk Assessment in Domestic Abuse Cases

Jeffrey Grogger*, Sean Gupta, Ria Ivandic, Tom Kirchmaier

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


We compare predictions from a conventional protocol-based approach to risk assessment with those based on a machine-learning approach. We first show that the conventional predictions are less accurate than, and have similar rates of negative prediction error as, a simple Bayes classifier that makes use of only the base failure rate. Machine-learning algorithms based on the underlying risk assessment questionnaire do better under the assumption that negative prediction errors are more costly than positive prediction errors. Machine-learning models based on two-year criminal histories do even better. Indeed, adding the protocol-based features to the criminal histories adds little to the predictive adequacy of the model. We suggest using the predictions based on criminal histories to prioritize incoming calls for service, and devising a more sensitive instrument to distinguish true from false positives that result from this initial screening.
TidsskriftJournal of Empirical Legal Studies
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)90-130
Antal sider41
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa