Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Steven C. Gustafson, PhD


This research uses a Bayesian framework to develop probability densities for target detection system performance metrics. The metrics include the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and the confidence error generation (CEG) curve. The ROC curve is a discrimination metric that quantifies how well a detection system separates targets and non-targets, and the CEG curve indicates how well the detection system estimates its own confidence. The degree of uncertainty in these metrics is a concern that previous research has not adequately addressed. This research formulates probability densities of the metrics and characterizes their uncertainty using confidence bands. Additional statistics are obtained that verify the accuracy of the confidence bands. Methods for the generation and characterization of the probability densities of the metrics are specified and demonstrated, where the initial analysis employs beta densities to model target and non-target samples of detection system output. For given target and non-target data, given functional forms of the data densities (such as beta density forms), and given prior densities of the form parameters, the methods developed here provide exact performance metric probability densities. Computational results compare favorably with existing approaches in cases where they can be applied; in other cases the methods developed here produce results that existing approaches cannot address.

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