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# Glossary of Terms

Analytical Error: The
measurement error of an analytical process.

Clinical: Related to the
diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Complex
Systems: Highly structured systems that are very
sensitive to the initial conditions. Their behavior is often chaotic as it is
characterized by variations that are very hard to be predicted.

Critical Failure: A failure that
can initiate hazard.

Diagnostic Accuracy: A
measure of the classification accuracy of a diagnostic test. It is
characterized by the sensitivity and the specificity of the test.

DNA
Barcoding: The species identification of a live
organism based on a standardized short sequense of its DNA.

Entropy:
A measure of the disorder of a system.

Failure:
The termination of the ability of an item to perform a
required function.

Genetic Algorithms: Robust
search algorithms that do not require knowledge of the objective function to be
optimized and can search through large spaces quickly. They were derived from
processes of molecular biology and the evolution of life. Their operators,
crossover, mutation, and reproduction, are isomorphic with the synonymous
biological processes. Instead of DNA or RNA strands, genetic algorithms usually
process strings of symbols of finite length; these symbols encode the
parameters to be optimized.

Hazard:
The potential source of harm.

Measurement Uncertainty: A parameter, associated with the result of a measurement, that
characterizes the range of the values that could reasonably be attributed to
the measurand.

Negative Predictive Value: The fraction of the population with a negative diagnostic test that are
nondiseased.

Network: The graph representation of a system. The nodes or vertices of the graph represent the components of the system and the edges represent their relations.

Numerical Methods: Approximate
calculation methods.

Optimization: The selection of a
better or best alternative among a number of possible states or affairs.
Usually the maximization or minimization of a function that depends on the
objective of the system, the objective function.

Positive Predictive Value: The fraction of the population with a positive diagnostic test that are
diseased.

Prevalence: The proportion of a population who have a particular disease or attribute in a given time period.

Probability Density Function:
A measure of the probability of a random variable.

Quality
Control: The statistical methods that are used for
understanding, monitoring, and improving a process or product.

Receiver
Operating Characteristic (ROC) Plots (Curves): Plots of the fraction of the
diseased population with a positive diagnostic test versus the fraction of the
nondiseased population with a positive diagnostic test.

Reliability: The probability that an item will perform
a required function, under stated conditions, for a stated period of time.

Residual
Risk: The risk remaining after the control measures have been taken.

Risk:
Combination of the probability of occurrence of harm and the severity of that
harm due to a hazard.

Risk Management: The practice of analyzing,
evaluating, controlling and monitoring risk.

Sensitivity: The fraction of
the diseased population with a positive diagnostic test.

Simulation:
The numerical evaluation of the model of a system, to estimate
the true characteristics of the system.

Specificity: The fraction of
the nondiseased population with a negative diagnostic test.

Symbolic Computation: The
mathematical transformation of symbolic expressions, using computer
algorithms.