A monitor is defined to be an estimator which minimizes the cost of taking measurements and which, simultaneously, meets constraints on accuracy. It is anticipated that the development of a monitor theory will facilitate environmental-technological system design. The authors propose that monitor synthesis can be divided into two subproblems. The “design problem” is to select the variables for measurement, to select the measurement devices, and to select the spatial distribution of the devices. The “management problem” is to select, on line, the type and sequencing of measurements. The note concludes with a simulated application of filter theory to the management of a water quality monitor. It is demonstrated that a suboptimal minimum cost monitor is, thereby, synthesized by the proper sequencing of costly measurements.

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