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This paper introduces the use of regression analysis in the study of small signal stability in large interconnected power systems. Results demonstrate the usefulness of this approach in better understanding the nature of dominant electromechanical modes of oscillation and in accurately predicting the damping on these modes. The usefulness of this approach in identifying strong correlations between system damping and distinct measurable and adjustable power system quantities such as generator output, line flows, bus voltages and bus angles, is presented. Results suggest that this approach may be useful in optimizing the location of traditional power system on-line recording devices, such as dynamic swing recorders (DSRs) as well as real time monitoring devices such as phasor measurement units (PMUs). Sensitivity studies show that power system information obtained may be useful in providing an additional tool to help system operators optimize the dispatch of generating resources. It would also be useful in providing more realistic feedback from the power system and aid in the decision making regarding dynamic stability and its effect on appropriate system topology, loading levels and allowable transfer levels, in real time.