CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
Eurostat's Concepts and Definitions Database

 

Term
(p,q) rule
Term extension
Statistical methodologies
Definition
It is assumed that out of publicly available information the contribution of one individual to the cell total can be estimated to within q per cent (q=error before publication); after the publication of the statistic the value can be estimated to within ρ percent (p=error after publication). In the (p,q) rule the ratio p/q represents the information gain through publication. If the information gain is unacceptable the cell is declared as confidential. The parameter values ρ and q are determined by the statistical authority and thus define the acceptable level of information gain. In some NSIs the values of ρ and q are confidential. (Source: ESSNet SDC)

It is assumed that prior to publication of tabular data the contribution of one individual to a cell total can be estimated to within q per cent (a priori relative error in estimating the individual contribution). If after publication of the statistic the value can be estimated to within p per cent (a posteriori relative error in estimating the individual contribution), the cell is declared as confidential. The parameters p and q are determined by the statistical authority. In some NSIs the values of p and q are confidential. (Source: ESSnet "Memobust")
Source
ESSNet SDC (Network of Excellence in the European Statistical System in the field of Statistical Disclosure Control), under the coordination of Anco HUNDEPOOL, "Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control", version 1.2 (2010 Edition)
Hyperlink
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ramon/statmanuals/files/SDC_Handbook.pdf
Other link(s)
Eurostat, ESSnet "Memobust", "Memobust Glossary" (part of the Memobust Handbook on Methodology of Modern Business Statistics), March 2014
Statistical theme(s)
  • General Statistical Terminology
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