Skip to main content

Statistical Measurements

  • Chapter
  • 1197 Accesses


This chapter introduces statistical approaches for quantifying the variability and precision of measurements. The chapter starts by introducing the most common indices of dispersion for quantifying the variability, followed by defining basic concepts such as accuracy, precision, and resolution of measurements, as well as the distinction between systematic and random measurement errors. A model of random errors is introduced and used to derive confidence intervals for estimating the mean of a measured quantity of interest based on a sample of measurements. Finally, statistical tests for comparing alternatives based on measurements are introduced. The cases of paired and unpaired observations are covered separately.

“A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.”

—Lee Segall

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  • Amrhein, V., Greenland, S., & McShane, B. (2019). Scientists rise up against statistical significance. Nature, 567(7748), 305–307.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lilja, D. J. (2000). Measuring computer performance: A practitioner’s guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Walpole, R. E., Myers, R. H., Myers, S. L., & Ye, K. E. (2016). Probability and statistics for engineers and scientists (9th ed). London: Pearson Education.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Kounev, S., Lange, KD., Kistowski, J.v. (2020). Statistical Measurements. In: Systems Benchmarking. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-41704-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-41705-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)