A pooling design
is an algorithm to intelligently classify items by testing them in groups or pools rather than individually. The result from the pools is usually binary — either positive
. A negative result can imply that all the items tested in that pool were failures
, if the tests are error-free. A positive result implies that at least one of the items in that pool was a success
, under the same error-free assumption.
The central idea originated from the practice of blood testing cadets for syphilis during World War II It has applications in communication systems, molecular biology and general fault testing areas.