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"Asymmetric errors"

Asymmetric Uncertainties:
Sources, Treatment and Potential Dangers

G. D'Agostini
Università ``La Sapienza'' and INFN, Roma, Italia


The issue of asymmetric uncertainties resulting from fits, nonlinear propagation and systematic effects is reviewed. It is shown that, in all cases, whenever a published result is given with asymmetric uncertainties, the value of the physical quantity of interest is biased with respect to what would be obtained using at best all experimental and theoretical information that contribute to evaluate the combined uncertainty. The probabilistic solution to the problem is provided both in exact and in approximated forms.

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Reference to this paper: physics/0403086, March 2004.

Giulio D'Agostini 2004-04-27