Tutorial: Methodology of Measurement

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Methodology of Measurement

Dario Petri

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Trento, Italy




In the tutorial the features characterizing an information acquisition and representation process as measurement are presented and discussed. The acquisition of information about physical quantities by means of sensors historically fostered the interpretation of measurement as a merely experimental activity. Conversely, measurement always requires suitable descriptive activities to be performed prior of the execution of experimental activities to ensure both their correct implementation and the interpretation of the obtained information. A conceptual framework highlighting the various activities involved in measurement development is illustrated and analyzed. In such a framework, synthesized in Fig.1, measurement is envisioned as a three-level hierarchically structured process constituted of stages (planning, execution and interpretation), each one composed of activities performed through multiple tasks. A loose temporal sequence drives the execution of tasks (black arrows in the diagram), but the systematic presence of feedback (white arrows) emphasizes the complexity of the whole process. The conceptual framework may be very useful for the accomplishment of methodologically correct measurements of physical or non-physical quantities.


Dario Petri received the M.Sc. degree (summa cum laude) and the Ph.D. degree in electronics engineering from the University of Padua, Padua, Italy, in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He became a Full Professor of measurement and electronic instrumentation in 1999. In 2002, he joined the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science, University of Trento, Trento, Italy, where he was the Head of Department from 2010 to 2012. Currently he is at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the same university. Dr. Petri is chairing the IEEE Italy Section and the Italian Association of Electrical and Electronic Measurements (GMEE). He has been the Vice President for Conferences of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society from 2011 to 2013 and he is currently the VP for Finance of the same Society. Dr. Petri is the author of over 250 papers published in international journals or in proceedings of peer reviewed international conferences. Dario Petri is an IEEE Fellow member. His research activities cover different fields and are focused on data acquisition systems design and testing, embedded systems design and characterization, measurement issues in management of smart energy grids, fundamentals of measurement theory, and application of digital signal processing to measurement problems.