Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.5, No.4, 1989. pp. 365374

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Probability Estimation With Sample Compositing Techniques

Sometimes the objective of an experiment is to estimate the proportion p of individuals that possess a characteristic, such as a parasite, a blood disease, or an antibody, and it is not necessary to identify those individuals. In such a case, analyzing composites of aliquots from k individual test portions may result in an estimator of p with substantially lower mean square error than the traditional estimator. The mean square error varies with k and p, we show a method for choosing the optimal value of k. Practical considerations for environmental scientists designing such an experiment are discussed. Substantial cost savings may result when a carefully planned sample compositing experiment is used.

Sample compositing; group testing; probability estimation.

Copyright Statistics Sweden 1996-2018.  Open Access
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