Title: Definitions and fields of application of the terms robust
and rugged and the characteristics or qualities of robustness
and ruggedness in analytical chemistry
Chairman: Duncan Thorburn
Members: Klaus Danzer
and Alan Townshend
Completion Date: 2008 - project abandoned
A) To develop precise and unequivocal definitions of the terms robust
and rugged and the related characteristics/qualities of robustness and
ruggedness to be applied to avoid confusion in the various areas of
B) To examine the possible quantitative implications and expression
of the above terms and characteristics.
There is considerable confusion in the scientific and textbook literature
as to the use of the terms robust and rugged and the associated
characteristics/qualities of robustness and ruggedness.
Many authors use the terms and the associated characteristics as if
they were synonymous; others use only one term and characteristic, namely
robust/rugged or rugged/ruggedness, whilst
a few distinguish their use. Some restrict the field of application
to robust/robustness to statistical methods of data evaluation
and rugged/ruggedness to experimental design. The use
of robust in connection with statistical tests is supported by
some professional statisticians and by current word usage as given in
the recent "New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary", but which
however gives one of the several meanings of rugged, as robust
based on American literature usage.
From the above discussion it is clear that to avoid confusion and aid
clarity of communication it is necessary to provide clear and unequivocal
definitions and fields of usage for the descriptors/characteristics
of robust/robustness and of rugged/ ruggedness.
It is considered that it would also be advantageous if quantitative
expressions could be devised.
A last meeting is being planned for late 2004 and it is projected
that the document will be ready for external review around early/mid
> Nov 2004 report update (pdf
file - 12KB)
> May 2006 report update (pdf
file - 13KB)
- project abandoned
Last Update: 8 July 2008