Standard Guide for Statistical Procedures to Use in Developing and Applying Test Methods
4.1 The creation of a standardized test method generally follows a series of steps from inception to approval and ongoing use. In all such stages there are questions of how well the test method performs.
4.1.1 Assessments of a new or existing test method generally involve statistical planning and analysis. This standard recommends what approaches may be taken and indicates which standards may be used to perform such assessments.
4.2 This standard introduces a series of phases which are recommended to be considered during the life cycle of a test method as depicted in Fig. 1. These begin with a design phase where the standard is initially prepared. A development phase involves a variety of experiments that allow further refinement and understanding of how the test method performs within a laboratory. In an evaluation phase the test method is then examined by way of interlaboratory studies resulting in precision and bias statistics which are published in the standard. Finally, the test method is subject to a monitoring phase.
4.3 All ASTM test methods are required to include statements on precision and bias.3
4.4 Since ASTM began to require all test methods to have precision and bias statements that are based on interlaboratory test methods, there has been increased concern regarding what statistical experiments and procedures to use during the development of the test methods. Although there exists a wide range of statistical procedures, there is a small group of generally accepted techniques that are beneficial to follow. This guide is designed to provide a brief overview of these procedures and to suggest an appropriate sequence of carrying out these procedures.
4.5 Statistical procedures often result in interpretations that are not absolutes. Sometimes the information obtained may be inadequate or incomplete, which may lead to additional questions and the need for further experimentation. Information outside the data is also important in establishing standards and in the interpretation of numerical results.
1.1 This guide identifies statistical procedures for use in developing new test methods or revising or evaluating existing test methods, or both.
1.2 This guide also cites statistical procedures especially useful in the application of test methods.
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