Content by Donald J. Wheeler

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Donald J. Wheeler
The ultimate purpose for collecting data is to take action. In some cases the action taken will depend upon a description of what is at hand. In others the action taken will depend upon a prediction...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Some properties of a probability model are hard to describe in practical terms. The explanation for this rests upon the fact that most probability models will have both visible and invisible portions...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
In The Music Man, the con man Prof. Harold Hill sells band instruments and uniforms and then tells the kids that they can play music if they will “just think about the notes and then play them.” In...
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Donald J. Wheeler
Last month we looked at what the empirical rule tells us about the data in a histogram. This month we will consider if there are any commonalities between different probability models that will...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
How can we use descriptive statistics to characterize our data? When I was teaching at the University of Tennessee I found a curious statement in a textbook that offered a practical answer to this...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Whenever we make a measurement, we have to decide how many digits to record. Traditional answers for this question are often little more than guesswork glorified by time. And with digital readouts...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
The precision to tolerance ratio is commonly used to characterize the usefulness of a measurement system. While this ratio is appealingly simple, it overstates the damage due to measurement error....
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Capability ratios are widely used and sometimes misunderstood. The computer will gladly offer up values of each of the commonly used capability and performance indexes. Yet there is little...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
In theory, a production process is always predictable. In practice, however, predictable operation is an achievement that has to be sustained, which is easier said than done. Predictable operation...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
How do extra detection rules work to increase the sensitivity of a process behavior chart? What types of signals do they detect? Which detection rules should be used, and when should they be used...