Validation of Statistical Sampling Algorithms in Visual Sample Plan (VSP): Summary Report

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Technology Development (OTD) contracted with a set of U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), to write a Remediation Guidance for Major Airports After a Chemical Attack. The report identifies key activities and issues that should be considered by a typical major airport following an incident involving release of a toxic chemical agent. Four experimental tasks were identified that would require further research in order to supplement the Remediation Guidance. One of the tasks, Task 4, OTD Chemical Remediation Statistical Sampling Design Validation, dealt with statistical ... continued below

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Nuffer, Lisa L; Sego, Landon H.; Wilson, John E.; Hassig, Nancy L.; Pulsipher, Brent A. & Matzke, Brett D. February 18, 2009.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Technology Development (OTD) contracted with a set of U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), to write a Remediation Guidance for Major Airports After a Chemical Attack. The report identifies key activities and issues that should be considered by a typical major airport following an incident involving release of a toxic chemical agent. Four experimental tasks were identified that would require further research in order to supplement the Remediation Guidance. One of the tasks, Task 4, OTD Chemical Remediation Statistical Sampling Design Validation, dealt with statistical sampling algorithm validation. This report documents the results of the sampling design validation conducted for Task 4. In 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) performed a review of the past U.S. responses to Anthrax terrorist cases. Part of the motivation for this PNNL report was a major GAO finding that there was a lack of validated sampling strategies in the U.S. response to Anthrax cases. The report (GAO 2005) recommended that probability-based methods be used for sampling design in order to address confidence in the results, particularly when all sample results showed no remaining contamination. The GAO also expressed a desire that the methods be validated, which is the main purpose of this PNNL report. The objective of this study was to validate probability-based statistical sampling designs and the algorithms pertinent to within-building sampling that allow the user to prescribe or evaluate confidence levels of conclusions based on data collected as guided by the statistical sampling designs. Specifically, the designs found in the Visual Sample Plan (VSP) software were evaluated. VSP was used to calculate the number of samples and the sample location for a variety of sampling plans applied to an actual release site. Most of the sampling designs validated are probability based, meaning samples are located randomly (or on a randomly placed grid) so no bias enters into the placement of samples, and the number of samples is calculated such that IF the amount and spatial extent of contamination exceeds levels of concern, at least one of the samples would be taken from a contaminated area, at least X% of the time. Hence, "validation" of the statistical sampling algorithms is defined herein to mean ensuring that the "X%" (confidence) is actually met.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-18253
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1000178 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1000178
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832710

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  • February 18, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 1:40 p.m.

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Nuffer, Lisa L; Sego, Landon H.; Wilson, John E.; Hassig, Nancy L.; Pulsipher, Brent A. & Matzke, Brett D. Validation of Statistical Sampling Algorithms in Visual Sample Plan (VSP): Summary Report, report, February 18, 2009; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832710/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.