U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Signature Quality Metrics

Signature systems designed to detect, predict, or characterize a phenomenon of interest are developed by scientists and engineers in a wide variety of contexts. Regardless of the domain, every signature discovery effort needs a transparent approach for evaluating the quality of the resultant signature system. The Signature Quality Metrics (SQM) methodology addresses this need by providing a holistic assessment of signature quality in terms of fidelity, cost, risk, other attributes, and utility—with the ultimate goal of identifying optimal signature systems for a particular application.

SQM is designed to help researchers ensure that signature systems achieve their intended purpose. The value of SQM can be summed up by this well-known statement attributed to Lord Kelvin: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it."

SQM provides a holistic approach for assessing the quality of signature systems as they move through the stages of research and development, construction and evaluation of prototypes, and eventual deployment in an operational environment.

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Conceptual Model


Principle Investigator: 
| Pacific Northwest National Laboratory