Measurement, Models, and Uncertainty

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 61 (8):2144 - 2152 (2012)
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Abstract

Against the tradition, which has considered measurement able to produce pure data on physical systems, the unavoidable role played by the modeling activity in measurement is increasingly acknowledged, particularly with respect to the evaluation of measurement uncertainty. This paper characterizes measurement as a knowledge-based process and proposes a framework to understand the function of models in measurement and to systematically analyze their influence in the production of measurement results and their interpretation. To this aim, a general model of measurement is sketched, which gives the context to highlight the unavoidable, although sometimes implicit, presence of models in measurement and, finally, to propose some remarks on the relations between models and measurement uncertainty, complementarily classified as due to the idealization implied in the models and their realization in the experimental setup.

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Alessandro Giordani
Università Cattolica di Milano

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