Several methods to extract an asymmetry parameter in an event distribution function are discussed and compared in terms of statistical precision and applicability. These methods are: simple counting rate asymmetries, event weighting procedures and the unbinned extended maximum likelihood method. It is known that weighting methods reach the same figure of merit (FOM) as the likelihood method in the limit of vanishing asymmetries. This article presents an improved weighting procedure reaching the FOM of the likelihood method for arbitrary asymmetries. Cases where the maximum likelihood method is not applicable are also discussed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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