H denotes a high level value; L denotes a low level value.

H denotes a high level value; L denotes a low level value.

column represents the H (high) and L (low) values of one variable in all the trials. This design (Table 4.16) requires that the frequency of each level of a variable in a given column should be equal and that in each test (horizontal row) the number of high and low variables should be equal. Consider the variable A; for the trials in which A is high, B is high in two of the trials and low in the other two. Similarly, C will be high in two trials and low in two, as will all the remaining variables. For those trials in which A is low, B will be high two times and low two times. This will also apply to all the other variables. Thus, the effects of changing the other variables cancel out when determining the effect of A. The same logic then applies to each variable. However, no changes are made to the high and low values for the E and G columns. Greasham and Inamine (1986) state that although the difference between the levels of each variable must be large enough to ensure that the optimum response will be included, caution must be taken when setting the level differential for sensitive variables, since a differential that is too large could mask the other variables. The trials are carried out in a randomized sequence.

The effects of the dummy variables are calculated in the same way as the effects of the experimental variables. If there are no interactions and no errors in measuring the response, the effect shown by a dummy variable should be 0. If the effect is not equal to 0, it is assumed to be a measure of the lack of experimental precision plus any analytical error in measuring the response (Stowe and Mayer, 1966).

This procedure will identify the important variables and allow them to be ranked in order of importance to decide which to investigate in a more detailed study to determine the optimum values to use.

The stages in analysing the data (Tables 4.16 and 4.17) using Nelson's (1982) example are as follows:

1. Determine the difference between the average of the H (high) and L (low) responses for each independent and dummy variable.

Therefore the difference =

The effect of an independent variable on the response is the difference between the average

Table 4.17. Analysis of the yields shown in Table 4.16 (Nelson, 1982)


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