By sampling is meant a selection from a population made such that an investigation based on this choice can lead to a statement about the whole population (with a given certainty). There are different principles of making such choices, for example unlimited random choices, many step choices, systematic and sequential sampling.

In practice, it is often difficult or impossible to make a representative sampling of a population, for example the population of plausible measurements with a certain method for which the components of variation are to be estimated.

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