The project will explore the feasibility of a network-based scheme for key comparisons (KCs). In contrast to a few top-down designed comparisons with many participants, the scheme would comprise many bilateral comparisons with relatively few participants in each. The diagram illustrates and contrasts bilateral networks to a traditional design using a graphical representation of a possible network of bilateral comparisons. The links represent direct comparisons between pairs of laboratories. The network would be allowed to grow by adding links when laboratories decide to undertake new bilateral comparisons.
At each stage of the evolution, the consensus value, associated uncertainty and degrees of equivalence would be updated and compared with those at previous stages. The project aims to establish a basic theoretical description of the network KC structure and identify aspects to be analysed more deeply. Concentration will be on the economies in resources and time to be realised by such a scheme. This work would serve as the foundation for a project proposal within the EPM programme, or other suitable funding programmes.
The research will be conducted in combination with an EMN Mathmet activity.