Data quality: Assessing input data uncertainty in life cycle assessment inventory models

Dale J. Kennedy, Douglas Montgomery, Dwayne A. Rollier, J. Bert Keats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A methodology is presented to develop and analyze vectors of data quality attribute scores. Each data quality vector component represents the quality of the data element for a specific attribute (e.g., age of data). Several methods for aggregating the components of data quality vectors to derive one data quality indicator (DQI) that represents the total quality associated with the input data element are presented with illustrative examples. The methods are compared and it is proven that the measure of central tendency, or arithmetic average, of the data quality vector components as a percentage of the total quality range attainable is an equivalent measure for the aggregate DQI. In addition, the methodology is applied and compared to real-world LCA data pedigree matrices. Finally, a method for aggregating weighted data quality vector attributes is developed and an illustrative example is presented. This methodology provides LCA practitioners with an approach to increase the precision of input data uncertainty assessments by selecting any number of data quality attributes with which to score the LCA inventory model input data. The resultant vector of data quality attributes can then be analyzed to develop one aggregate DQI for each input data element for use in stochastic LCA modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Data quality vector
  • LCA input data quality
  • LCI input data quality
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle inventory
  • Stochastic LCA modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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