### Target intersection probabilities for parallel-line and continuous-grid types of search

Journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology

By: R.B. McCammon

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#### Abstract

The expressions for calculating the probability of intersection of hidden targets of different sizes and shapes for parallel-line and continuous-grid types of search can be formulated by vsing the concept of conditional probability. When the prior probability of the orientation of a widden target is represented by a uniform distribution, the calculated posterior probabilities are identical with the results obtained by the classic methods of probability. For hidden targets of different sizes and shapes, the following generalizations about the probability of intersection can be made: (1) to a first approximation, the probability of intersection of a hidden target is proportional to the ratio of the greatest dimension of the target (viewed in plane projection) to the minimum line spacing of the search pattern; (2) the shape of the hidden target does not greatly affect the probability of the intersection when the largest dimension of the target is small relative to the minimum spacing of the search pattern, (3) the probability of intersecting a target twice for a particular type of search can be used as a lower bound if there is an element of uncertainty of detection for a particular type of tool; (4) the geometry of the search pattern becomes more critical when the largest dimension of the target equals or exceeds the minimum spacing of the search pattern; (5) for elongate targets, the probability of intersection is greater for parallel-line search than for an equivalent continuous square-grid search when the largest dimension of the target is less than the minimum spacing of the search pattern, whereas the opposite is true when the largest dimension exceeds the minimum spacing; (6) the probability of intersection for nonorthogonal continuous-grid search patterns is not greatly different from the probability of intersection for the equivalent orthogonal continuous-grid pattern when the orientation of the target is unknown. The probability of intersection for an elliptically shaped target can be approximated by treating the ellipse as intermediate between a circle and a line. A search conducted along a continuous rectangular grid can be represented as intermediate between a search along parallel lines and along a continuous square grid. On this basis, an upper and lower bound for the probability of intersection of an elliptically shaped target for a continuous rectangular grid can be calculated. Charts have been constructed that permit the values for these probabilities to be obtained graphically. The use of conditional probability allows the explorationist greater flexibility in considering alternate search strategies for locating hidden targets. ?? 1977 Plenum Publishing Corp.

#### Additional publication details

Publication type | Article |
---|---|

Publication Subtype | Journal Article |

Title | Target intersection probabilities for parallel-line and continuous-grid types of search |

Series title | Journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology |

DOI | 10.1007/BF02047408 |

Volume | 9 |

Issue | 4 |

Year Published | 1977 |

Language | English |

Publisher | Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers |

Larger Work Type | Article |

Larger Work Subtype | Journal Article |

Larger Work Title | Journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology |

First page | 369 |

Last page | 382 |

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