Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) describes methods that quantitatively characterize materials, tissues, and structures by noninvasive means, such as X-ray computed tomography, ultrasonics, and acoustic emission. Recently, NDE was used to detect defects in steel castings (JOM, May 2005). Assume that the probability that NDE detects a “hit” (i.e., predicts a defect in a steel casting) when, in fact, a defect exists is .97. (This is often called the probability of detection.) Assume also that the probability that NDE detects a “hit” when, in fact, no defect exists is .005. (This is called the probability of a false call.) Past experience has shown that a defect occurs once in every 100 steel castings. If NDE detects a “hit” for a particular steel casting, what is the probability that an actual defect exists?
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