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Likelihood is the expected plausibility of an event to realise.


Likelihood is one of the defining elements of risk. Usually expressed in the form of probability, it determines, alongside vulnerability and impact, the chance of an unwanted situation occurring.

Most commonly, likelihood can be quantified by statistical analysis. The likelihood of extreme weather events occurring, for instance, has been the subject of long and well-established study and has a solid statistical basis. Wherever statistical data can predict the future, likelihood can be interpreted to equal probability.

Where this is problematic, probability is sometimes substituted with attractiveness because of the problems with the use of probability in determining the likelihood of human intent.

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