Systematic error revisited

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The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defines systematic error as An error which remains constant over replicative measurements. It would seem from the ANSI definition that a systematic error is not really an error at all; it is merely a failure to calibrate the measurement system properly because if error is constant why not simply correct for it? Yet systematic errors undoubtedly exist, and they differ in some fundamental way from the kind of errors we call random. Early papers by Eisenhart and by Youden discussed systematic versus random error with regard to measurements in the physical sciences, but not ... continued below

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13 p.

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Glosup, J.G. & Axelrod, M.C. August 5, 1996.

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Description

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defines systematic error as An error which remains constant over replicative measurements. It would seem from the ANSI definition that a systematic error is not really an error at all; it is merely a failure to calibrate the measurement system properly because if error is constant why not simply correct for it? Yet systematic errors undoubtedly exist, and they differ in some fundamental way from the kind of errors we call random. Early papers by Eisenhart and by Youden discussed systematic versus random error with regard to measurements in the physical sciences, but not in a fundamental way, and the distinction remains clouded by controversy. The lack of a general agreement on definitions has led to a plethora of different and often confusing methods on how to quantify the total uncertainty of a measurement that incorporates both its systematic and random errors. Some assert that systematic error should be treated by non- statistical methods. We disagree with this approach, and we provide basic definitions based on entropy concepts, and a statistical methodology for combining errors and making statements of total measurement of uncertainty. We illustrate our methods with radiometric assay data.

Physical Description

13 p.

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OSTI as DE98050765

Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

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  • American Statistical Association conference, Chicago, IL (United States), 4-8 Aug 1996

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  • Other: DE98050765
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--123330
  • Report No.: CONF-9608107--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 328517
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688304

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 5, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 1:24 p.m.

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Glosup, J.G. & Axelrod, M.C. Systematic error revisited, article, August 5, 1996; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688304/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.