ASTM-E178 › Standard Practice for Dealing With Outlying Observations
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This practice covers outlying observations in samples and how to test the statistical significance of them. An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs. In this connection, the following two alternatives are of interest: (i) an outlying observation may be merely an extreme manifestation of the random variability inherent in the data. If this is true, the value should be retained and processed in the same manner as the other observations in the sample. (ii) An outlying observation may be the result of gross deviation from prescribed experimental procedure or an error in calculating or recording the numerical value. In such cases, it may be desirable to institute an investigation to ascertain the reason for the aberrant value. The observation may even actually be rejected as a result of the investigation, though not necessarily so. At any rate, in subsequent data analysis, the outlier or outliers will be recognized as probably being from a different population than that of the other sample values. Recommended criteria and illustrations for single samples including the Dixon criteria which are based entirely on ratios of differences between the observations, criterion using independent standard deviation, and criterion for known standard deviation are presented.
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1.1 This practice covers outlying observations in samples and how to test the statistical significance of outliers.
1.2 The system of units for this standard is not specified. Dimensional quantities in the standard are presented only as illustrations of calculation methods. The examples are not binding on products or test methods treated.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.
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