Date: May 1993
Creator: Harvey, Martha M. (Martha Mattern)
Description: This study uses simulation to examine differences between fixed sampling interval (FSI) and variable sampling interval (VSI) Shewhart X-bar control charts for processes that produce positively autocorrelated data. The influence of sample size (1 and 5), autocorrelation parameter, shift in process mean, and length of time between samples is investigated by comparing average time (ATS) and average number of samples (ANSS) to produce an out of control signal for FSI and VSI Shewhart X-bar charts. These comparisons are conducted in two ways: control chart limits pre-set at ±3σ_x / √n and limits computed from the sampling process. Proper interpretation of the Shewhart X-bar chart requires the assumption that observations are statistically independent; however, process data are often autocorrelated over time. Results of this study indicate that increasing the time between samples decreases the effect of positive autocorrelation between samples. Thus, with sufficient time between samples the assumption of independence is essentially not violated. Samples of size 5 produce a faster signal than samples of size 1 with both the FSI and VSI Shewhart X-bar chart when positive autocorrelation is present. However, samples of size 5 require the same time when the data are independent, indicating that this effect is a ...
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