Open Access

Evaluation of Robust Estimators Applied to Fluorescence Assays

  • M. Västilä1Email author,
  • S. Peltonen1,
  • J Soukka2,
  • E. Albán1,
  • J. T. Soini2, 3, 4 and
  • U. Ruotsalainen1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20072008:170497

Received: 24 January 2007

Accepted: 14 October 2007

Published: 11 December 2007


We evaluated standard robust methods in the estimation of fluorescence signal in novel assays used for determining the biomolecule concentrations. The objective was to obtain an accurate and reliable estimate using as few observations as possible by decreasing the influence of outliers. We assumed the true signals to have Gaussian distribution, while no assumptions about the outliers were made. The experimental results showed that arithmetic mean performs poorly even with the modest deviations. Further, the robust methods, especially the -estimators, performed extremely well. The results proved that the use of robust methods is advantageous in the estimation problems where noise and deviations are significant, such as in biological and medical applications.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology
Arctic Diagnostics
Laboratory of Biophysics, University of Turku
Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University


© M. Västilä et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.