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Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences

Research in Action

EPA Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) Model

EPA’s Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) Model is a mathematical receptor model developed by EPA scientists that provides scientific support for air and water quality standards, exposure research, and a wide range of environmental data analyses from PCB contaminated sediments to indoor air quality. EPA’s PMF model reduces the dimensions or large number of variables in complex analytical data sets to interpretable source types (factors) and also provides a robust uncertainty estimate.

Users of EPA’s PMF model provide files of sample species concentrations and uncertainties which the model uses to calculate source profiles or fingerprints, source contributions, and source profile uncertainties. Algorithms used in the PMF model have been peer reviewed by leading air and water quality management scientists.

The PMF model software uses graphical user interfaces that ease data input, generation, evaluation and exporting of results. The model is free of charge, and does not require a license or other software to use.

System Requirements
Version 5.0 of EPA’s Positive Matrix Factorization Model works on Windows 7.0 and 8.0. The computer should have at least a 2.0 GHz processor, 1 GB of memory, and a 1024x768 pixel display. Users will need to have Administrative permissions to write to the computer’s C:\ drive in order to install and run the EPA PMF Model; this may not be the default setting for some users. Since files will be written to a user’s C:\ drive, the EPA PMF Model needs to be run in Administrator mode.

Support Materials
The EPA Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) 5.0 Fundamentals & User Guide provides references and details on how to use PMF.

Contact: RM_Support@epa.gov

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