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Flexible classification with spatial quantile comparison and novel statistical features applied to spent nuclear fuel analysis

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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Conference Date

Multivariate classification algorithms are a common tool in contemporary data science that have begun to be applied to nuclear forensic analyses. Using a multivariate generalization of quantile–quantile plots for comparing unknown statistical distributions, a new model-free multivariate classifier called the Quantile–Quantile Comparator has been developed and tested on the analysis of simulated irradiated nuclear fuel. A method to estimate the sample-specific probability of having made an incorrect classification decision by analyzing the distribution of quantile comparisons has been developed, and methods have been developed to analyze the partition of the known data library used to analyze unknown data. By analyzing this partition, the analyst may identify classes that are likely to be confused, identify test data that are inconsistent with the data library and return a “None-of-the-Above” classification decision, and optimize the class boundaries. In this paper, the development of these capabilities is described, and a case study using real experimental assay data collected from nuclear fuel extracted from the newly-released Spent Fuel Isotopic Composition Database to demonstrate the efficacy of these capabilities is presented.