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Measurement systems as foundations for reliable decision support systems [Instrumentation Notes]

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2 Author(s)
Michalski, A. ; Warsaw University of Technology and the Military University of Technology, Poland ; Makowski, L.

In 2009, the Instrumentation and Measurement Society's International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference used the slogan, "Yes, We Measure," a paraphrase of the famous quote from Lord Kelvin. But what does "to measure" actually mean? This question has been asked many times, and there are perhaps hundreds of definitions. Attempting to answer that question yet again might sound ridiculous or even audacious to academics more experienced than the humble authors of this text. However, without a bit of audacity, there is no scientific progress, and without subtle ridicule, there is no amusement in discovering nature's secrets. That is why we dare to ponder this problem again and put forward for consideration a statement that to measure means to make possible. However, such a strong course leads directly to the wonderful world of quantum physics or the logical realm of philosophy and might assign one as a strict empiricist or even a nominalist. As we are engineers, we are looking for a more practical definition, so we prefer to narrow its scope to a more utilitarian answer. Therefore, in this article, we look at measurement systems as a crucial part of a decision support system (DSS) which can shape rational judgment and ensure sensible progress in various activities.

Published in:

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 3 )