Risk assessment should not add complexity!

In any modeling effort, complexity should exist only because the underlying real-world phenomenon is complex. The risk assessment should not add complexity.

Ironically, a scoring type risk assessment, intended to simplify the modeling of real-world phenomena, actually adds complexity. By converting real-world phenomena into ‘points’ via an assignment protocol, an artificial layer of complexity has been introduced. This is unnecessary.

A robust risk assessment, covering complex scientific elements such as corrosion mechanisms and stress-strain relationships, may require a level of complexity in order to fully represent the associated risk issues. In this case, the complexity reflects the complexity of the underlying science and is appropriate to include in certain kinds of risk assessment. In contrast, a risk assessment that requires the assignment of scores to various conditions— for example, soil corrosivity, CP effectiveness, etc— and then the assignment of weightings to each, and then the combination of the scores using often-non-intuitive algorithms, is adding complexity that probably adds no value to the analyses. As a matter of fact, such artificial complexity probably detracts from the accuracy and usability of the risk assessment.