Effective damage per second, or Effective DPS is an attribute of a weapon or unit that varies by situation and target.
The formula for Effective DPS is Effective DPS = (DPS X % of shots that hit X additional units hit)
Effective DPS is important because missed shots have a large impact on the outcome of battles, and damage to units not targeted is also very significant. For examples of each, the Triad misses a very large numbers of its shots against fast moving Light Assault Bots, thus dramatically reducing its Effective DPS against these targets. For units like the Trebuchet with a very high damage radius, Effective DPS can be much higher than the stated value because the potential for collateral damage is very high.
Tactics based upon reducing the Effective DPS of enemy units or increasing the Effective DPS of certain friendly units are very prevalent due to the potential of multiplying or severely cutting the combat effectiveness of units.
On the opposite token, the often erratic movement of Prowlers prevents Shards from hitting most of their shots, thus dramatically reducing the Effective DPS of the unit. Other factors that affect effective DPS include units with DOT weapons that can have a dramatically lowered DPS if they are attacking moving units. Bombers can also have a lowered Effective DPS because they fire in passes and the bomber's movement effectively lowers the weapon's ROF and consequently its DPS as the bomber only fires when approaching the target and constantly is moving.
Lastly, another factor affecting Effective DPS is overkill. Units such as the Tempest have insanely high initial shot damage and subsequently are likely to have a reduced Effective DPS because it will likely have massive overkill against any unit that it attacks.
Effective DPS is an important issue on that battlefield that demands consideration.