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Comment on `Testing earthquake prediction methods: "The West Pacific short-term forecast of earthquakes with magnitude MwHRV >= 5.8"' by V. G. Kossobokov


In his paper Kossobokov investigates the efficiency of our short-term forecast for two western Pacific regions. Although we agree with the basic results of his evaluation that the forecast statistics is much better than a random guess, we have reservations about his definition of earthquake prediction, some of his tests, and his interpretation of the test results. We distinguish between deterministic earthquake predictions and statistical forecasts. We argue that some techniques used by Kossobokov may not be appropriate for testing our forecasts and discuss other testing methods, based on the likelihood function. We demonstrate that Kossobokov's null hypothesis may be biased, and this bias can influence some of his conclusions. We show that contrary to Kossobokov's statement, our algorithm predicts mainshocks when they are preceded by foreshocks.

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