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The methodology for plasma-turbulence code validation is discussed, with focus on the quantities to use for the simulation-experiment comparison, i.e., the validation observables, and application to the TORPEX basic plasma physics experiment [A. Fasoli , Phys. Plasmas 13, 055902 (2006)]. The considered validation observables are deduced from Langmuir probe measurements and are ordered into a primacy hierarchy, according to the number of model assumptions and to the combinations of measurements needed to form each of them. The lowest levels of the primacy hierarchy correspond to observables that require the lowest number of model assumptions and measurement combinations, such as the statistical and spectral properties of the ion saturation current time trace, while at the highest levels, quantities such as particle transport are considered. The comparison of the observables at the lowest levels in the hierarchy is more stringent than at the highest levels. Examples of the use of the proposed observables are applied to a specific TORPEX plasma configuration characterized by interchange-driven turbulence.