Acceptance sampling for attributes via hypothesis testing and the hypergeometric distribution


Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil


This paper questions some aspects of attribute acceptance sampling in light of the original concepts of hypothesis testing from Neyman and Pearson (NP). Attribute acceptance sampling in industry, as developed by Dodge and Romig (DR), generally follows the international standards of ISO 2859, and similarly the Brazilian standards NBR 5425 to NBR 5427 and the United States Standards ANSI/ASQC Z1.4. The paper evaluates and extends the area of acceptance sampling in two directions. First, by suggesting the use of the hypergeometric distribution to calculate the parameters of sampling plans avoiding the unnecessary use of approximations such as the binomial or Poisson distributions. We show that, under usual conditions, discrepancies can be large. The conclusion is that the hypergeometric distribution, ubiquitously available in commonly used software, is more appropriate than other distributions for acceptance sampling. Second, and more importantly, we elaborate the theory of acceptance sampling in terms of hypothesis testing rigorously following the original concepts of NP. By offering a common theoretical structure, hypothesis testing from NP can produce a better understanding of applications even beyond the usual areas of industry and commerce such as public health and political polling. With the new procedures, both sample size and sample error can be reduced. What is unclear in traditional acceptance sampling is the necessity of linking the acceptable quality limit (AQL) exclusively to the producer and the lot quality percent defective (LTPD) exclusively to the consumer. In reality, the consumer should also be preoccupied with a value of AQL, as should the producer with LTPD. Furthermore, we can also question why type I error is always uniquely associated with the producer as producer risk, and likewise, the same question arises with consumer risk which is necessarily associated with type II error. The resolution of these questions is new to the literature. The article presents R code throughout.