Using statistical methods, the designs of multifraction experiments which are likely to give the most precise estimate of the α-β ratio in the linear-quadratic model are investigated. The aim of the investigation is to try to understand what features of an experimental design make it efficient for estimating α/β rather than to recommend a specific design. A plot of the design on an <tex-math>$nd^{2}$</tex-math> versus nd graph is suggested, and this graph is called the design plot. The best designs are those which have a large spread in the isoeffect direction in the design plot, which means that a wide range of doses per fraction should be used. For binary response assays, designs with expected response probabilities near to 0.5 are most efficient. Furthermore, dose points with expected response probabilities outside the range 0.1 to 0.9 contribute negligibly to the efficiency with which α/β can be estimated. For "top-up" experiments, the best designs are those which replace as small a portion as possible of the full experiment with the top-up scheme. In addition, from a statistical viewpoint, it makes no difference whether a single large top-up dose or several smaller top-up doses are used; however, other considerations suggest that two or more top-up doses may be preferable. The practical realities of designing experiments as well as the somewhat idealized statistical considerations are discussed.

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