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Information Technology Measurement and Testing Activities at NIST



David Flater, James E. Fowler, Simon P. Frechette, Craig M. Shakarji, Michael Hogan, Shirley M. Radack, Douglas Montgomery, L Johnson, R Rosenthal, R Mccabe, R Carpenter, Lisa Carnahan, M M. Gray


Our high technology society continues to rely more and more upon sophisticated measurements, technical standards, and associated testing activities. This was true for the industrial society of the 20th century and remains true for the information society of the 21st century. Over the last half of the 20th century, information technology (IT) has been a powerful agent of change in almost every sector of the economy. The complexity and rapidly changing nature of IT have presented unique technical challenges to NIST and to the scientific measurement community in developing a sound measurement and testing infrastructure for IT. This measurement and testing infrastructure for the important non-physical and non-chemical properties associated with complex IT systems is still in an early stage of development. This paper explains key terms and concepts for IT metrology, briefly reviews the history of NBS/NIST in the field of IT, and reviews NIST's current capabilities and work in measurement and testing for IT. It concludes with a look at what is likely to occur in the field of IT over the next ten years and what metrology roles NIST is likely to play.
Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology


conformance, hardware, information technology, interoperability, measurement, performance, reference data, software, testing


Flater, D. , Fowler, J. , Frechette, S. , Shakarji, C. , Hogan, M. , Radack, S. , Montgomery, D. , Johnson, L. , Rosenthal, R. , Mccabe, R. , Carpenter, R. , Carnahan, L. and Gray, M. (2001), Information Technology Measurement and Testing Activities at NIST, Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created January 31, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021