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the selection of part of a total population of consumers or products whose behaviour or performance can be analysed, in order to make inferences about the behaviour or performance of the total population, without the difficulty and expense of undertaking a complete census of the whole population.

Samples may be chosen randomly, with every consumer or product in the population having an equal chance of being included. Random samples are most commonly used by firms in QUALITY CONTROL where they are used as a basis for selecting products, components or materials for quality testing.

Alternatively, samples may be chosen by dividing up the total population into a number of distinct sub-groups or strata, then selecting a proportionate number of consumers or products from each sub-group since this is quicker and cheaper than random sampling. In MARKETING RESEARCH and opinion polling, quota sampling is usually employed where interviewers select the particular consumers to be interviewed, choosing the numbers of these consumers in proportion to their occurrence in the total population.

Samples may be:

  1. cross-sectional, where sample observations are collected at a particular point in time, for example data on company sales and the incomes of consumers in the current year, embracing a wide range of different income groups, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income;
  2. longitudinal, where sample observations are collected over a number of time periods, for example data on changes in company sales over a number of years and changes in consumer incomes over the same time periods, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income. See STATISTICAL INFERENCES, QUESTIONNAIRE.
References in periodicals archive ?
Step 8: The modified audio samples are formed into the stego audio signal C', and then send C', [K.sub.1], [K.sub.2], and [K.sub.3] as the hiding key to the receiver.
At the same time, the audio samples are acquired from audio device (Microphone) simultaneously with retrieving a text.
Table 7 shows the result of the robustness test result with the audio samples of various genres of music.
Music buffs can also find documents and memorabilia, such as 1960s "Top 40" playlists from local stations, record label photos, interviews, video and audio samples, entertainment ads, posters, and links to relevant sites.
The Soundcloud page offers a host of audio samples from musical shows.
In other words, one descriptor (in a subband) represents 0.48 second of audio samples. The smallest Euclidean distance obtained during the sliding operation is recorded as the distance between the query input and the reference music.
"It's All About Stuff: Nonfiction and Teenage Boys." Karin Perry presents Audio Talk "Can You Keep a Secret?" plus audio samples and book trailers on our website for the titles she reviews.
These online and mobile-friendly digital catalogs contain virtually everything a music director will need to easily make decisions on performance music, including audio samples, full scores, information about the titles and supplemental resources.
Paperboy ( uses image recognition to connect the printed publication with digital extras on mobile phones such as pictures, videos, interviews, and audio samples. All readers have to do is take a photo of the page, and they are taken to the digital version right on their phones.