Use of Monte Carlo simulations in the assessment of calibration strategies – Part I: an introduction to Monte Carlo mathematics

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An introduction to the use of the mathematical technique of Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate least squares regression calibration is described. Monte Carlo techniques involve the repeated sampling of data from a population that may be derived from real (experimental) data, but is more conveniently generated by a computer using a model of the analytical system and a randomization process to produce a large database. Datasets are selected from this population and fed into the calibration algorithms under test, thus providing a facile way of producing a sufficiently large number of assessments of the algorithm to enable a statically valid appraisal of the calibration process to be made. This communication provides a description of the technique that forms the basis of the results presented in Parts II and III of this series, which follow in this issue, and also highlights the issues arising from the use of small data populations in bioanalysis.

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