Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 119–133 | Cite as

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as a measure of reproducibility: design, estimation, and application



This paper proposes the use of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as another index of a measurement’s reproducibility. We derive its maximum likelihood estimation and discuss confidence interval construction within the framework of the one-way random effect model. We investigate the validity of the approximate normal confidence interval by Monte-Carlo simulations. The paper also derives the optimal allocation for the number of subject and the number of repeated measurements needed to minimize the variance of the maximum likelihood estimator of the SNR. We discuss efficiency in estimation and cost considerations for the optimal allocation of the sample resources. The approach is illustrated on two examples: one from MRI data and the other on the WHO immunization coverage data.


Random effect model Likelihood inference Delta method Monte-Carlo simulations 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Scientific ComputingKing Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research CentreRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of MedicineUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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