Articles & Whitepapers

OPN: Evaluating System Performance – Between a “ROC” and a Hard Place

Published by Optics & Photonic News


How can engineers use a receiver operating characteristics curve to assess the functioning of a complex sensor system?


When Emerson wrote, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” he likely had no idea how complicated that simply idea could become. What constitutes “better” to today’s engineer is often a matrix of conflicting parameters and concerns ranging from functionality to marketing. The engineer must sift through this complexity and decide how well any new device can actually solve a problem.


This article discusses a complex sensor system that captures medical prescription errors using Raman spectroscopy. The “how well” question is answered with an applied analysis – the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve.





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