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Simulation, point estimation, and interval estimation of the bit error rate are rigorously examined. Exact confidence intervals based on the F-distribution approximation for the binomial and negative binomial distributions are derived. Simulations demonstrate that the analysis gives accurate confidence intervals for bit error rate estimators and that the performance of the binomial and negative binomial estimators are similar. The negative binomial estimator has the advantage that an a priori estimate or guess of the true bit error probability is not required.
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