Author(s): Farrance I, Frenkel R
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Abstract The Evaluation of Measurement Data - Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (usually referred to as the GUM) provides general rules for evaluating and expressing uncertainty in measurement. When a measurand, y, is calculated from other measurements through a functional relationship, uncertainties in the input variables will propagate through the calculation to an uncertainty in the output y. The manner in which such uncertainties are propagated through a functional relationship provides much of the mathematical challenge to fully understanding the GUM.The aim of this review is to provide a general overview of the GUM and to show how the calculation of uncertainty in the measurand may be achieved through a functional relationship. That is, starting with the general equation for combining uncertainty components as outlined in the GUM, we show how this general equation can be applied to various functional relationships in order to derive a combined standard uncertainty for the output value of the particular function (the measurand). The GUM equation may be applied to any mathematical form or functional relationship (the starting point for laboratory calculations) and describes the propagation of uncertainty from the input variable(s) to the output value of the function (the end point or outcome of the laboratory calculation). A rule-based approach is suggested with a number of the more common rules tabulated for the routine calculation of measurement uncertainty.
This article was published in Clin Biochem Rev
and referenced in Immunochemistry & Immunopathology