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Accuracy is a term that plays a central role in all sciences. Accuracy means, for example, precision , correctness , care , conscientiousness , exactness , consistency.

In certain application cases, the degree of accuracy can be referred to as the degree of accuracy and expressed as a percentage. Other, context-dependent quantifications of the accuracy are also possible, e.g. B. in the form of a measurement uncertainty .

Word meaning

  • Conformity / compliance with a recognizable standard ; can e.g. B. mean the number of bits in a computer word that are available in a given system. Numerical accuracy of the storage of values ​​(e.g. coordinates) as 16bit, 32bit etc. (see bit accuracy )
  • The degree of conformity with a standard or an accepted value. Accuracy refers to the quality of a result and is therefore not the same as precision ("repeatability").
  • Degree of reproducibility or accuracy of information (see resolution ). Spatially, usually understood as positional accuracy , indicates how great the deviation of the digitally stored position coordinates of an object is from reality. Measured either as the (statistical) mean deviation or the maximum value of the deviation ( resolution ).
  • The closeness of the results of observations , calculations, or estimates to true values or to values ​​that have been accepted as correct.

The accuracy of the values derived from a measurement cannot be greater than the accuracy of the measured values themselves. The accuracy increases with an increasing number of measurements, if scattered measured values ​​limit the accuracy. In the case of quantitative information on accuracy, it is better to use the terms inaccuracy , deviation , measurement deviation , etc. for linguistic reasons .

The accuracy used to be (also) known as "accuracy".

Concept of accuracy in various fields

  • In mathematics , accuracy is the degree of approximation to which a quantity is specified. In the case of numerical values , it usually results from the number of significant digits . Even if all digits are significant, the accuracy is still limited by the resolution , the digit increment on the least significant digit.
  • In geometry , accuracy is the degree of correspondence between the drawing and the figures represented by it.
  • In the statistics , the data quality is specified with the accuracy. The accuracy of an estimator is usually described by the mean square deviation . This is made up of the square of the systematic deviation and the variance .
  • In the metrology and quality control accuracy (eng. Accuracy ) is a generic term. A meter is accurate when it both a high precision (eng. Precision ) and high accuracy (eng. Trueness ) has. In EN 60051 the accuracy of a measuring device is defined as the "degree of agreement between the displayed and correct value". The English and French language online VIM (vocabulaire international de métrologie) of the JCGM , an international association of standardizing organizations, forms the basis for using these terms accuracy, correctness and precision in measurement technology . In addition, there are contradicting representations, e.g. B. in the English parallel article.
In the German-English version, VIM stipulates: "'Measurement accuracy' is not a quantity and is not expressed quantitatively."; the term is only suitable for qualitative statements.
The accuracy as a combination of correctness and precision is illustrated in the following pictures:
  • In technical drawings , the required accuracy of the product to be manufactured is precisely specified with the help of tolerances for the dimensions (dimensional tolerances) as well as shape and position tolerances. A special dimensioning system applies in particular for specifying the accuracy of fits .
  • In geodesy the concept of accuracy also plays a major role; see e.g. Bearing and Mapping Accuracy .
  • In theology , especially in Orthodoxy , and in every scientific or literary activity in general, the utmost precision, according to which all commandments are conscientiously obeyed, is called meticulousness .

See also

Wiktionary: Accuracy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. ^ Helmut Kahlert , Richard Mühe , Gisbert L. Brunner , Christian Pfeiffer-Belli: wrist watches: 100 years of development history. Callwey, Munich 1983; 5th edition, ibid. 1996, ISBN 3-7667-1241-1 , p. 505. Example: A watch that shows a rate deviation of 30 seconds per day has a relative measurement deviation of 0.035% (based on a day of 86 400 seconds ). The degree of accuracy is then 99.965%.
  2. Just awareness , accuracy - German Dictionary of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm ; in the second entry also with "accuracy" (as usual with the Grimms , still without the capitalization that was actually widespread at the time , see also the German dictionary # lowercase )
  3. DIN ISO 5725 Accuracy (correctness and precision) of measurement methods and measurement results Edition 2003-01.
  4. DIN 55350-13: 1987, Terms of Quality Assurance and Statistics - Part 13: Terms for the accuracy of investigation procedures and investigation results , No. 2.1
  5. EN 60051 Directly acting analog electrical measuring devices ...
  6. JCGM 200: 2012 International vocabulary of metrology - Basic and general concepts and associated terms (VIM) , definition 2.13. (PDF; 3.8 MB; accessed March 6, 2015)
  7. International Metrology Dictionary - Fundamental and General Terms and Associated Terms (VIM) , German-English version ISO / IEC Guide 99: 2007, Beuth-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-410-22472-3
  8. ^ Burghart Brinkmann: International Metrology Dictionary: Basic and General Terms and Associated Terms (VIM) - German-English version ISO / IEC Guide 99: 2007. Beuth, 4th edition 2012, definition 2.13 Online = limited preview in the Google book search