Questions tagged [statistics]

For questions about the science that deals with classification, analysis and interpretation of numerical facts and data.

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Why are the classic statistical approaches to NLP mostly generative models while the most recent ones are mostly discriminative?

Looking at the classic statistical approaches to natural language processing (e.g. tagging, parsing, etc.), I see that they are mostly generative models: n-gram models, Naive Bayes classifiers, hidden ...
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9 votes
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On the history of population dynamics of territorial species

I am interested in the historical priority in population biology, essays or monographs, discussing the concept of territoriality prior to 1950. What is it? In the early 18th century discussions of ...
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8 votes
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Mathematical counterintelligence at Bletchley during World War 2

Popular works of fiction claim that after breaking the Enigma in Bletchley, some sophisticated mathematics or statistical techniques were used to hide this fact of breaking (not necessarily by the ...
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In which work was Gibbs' Inequality introduced?

Gibbs' inequality $$-\sum\limits_{i=1}^n p_{i} \cdot \log{p_{i}} \le -\sum\limits_{i=1}^n p_{i} \cdot \log{q_{i}}$$ is such a popular thing that I cannot find where it was introduced. My findings I ...
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3 votes
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Raymond Cattell and History of Personality Traits Prior 1947

I find that papers reference Raymond Cattell suggesting 16 or 22, etc, traits, by factor analysis (basically regression), including all five of the modern reproducible traits (openness to experience, ...
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3 votes
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Why do we see the modern version of regression as "Fisher's regression"?

In Fisher's paper, he did not include the error term. http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Fisher/Methods/chap5.htm But Durbin & Watson suggested the error term, and also made the matrix form of the ...
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2 votes
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Why is William Playfair seldom heard about in mathematics?

William Playfair was a Scottish engineer and economist, who invented the pie and bar charts as well as the line graph, which have all played an indubitably ubiquitous role in modern statistics. I hadn'...
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1 vote
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What is the earliest use of the $\perp\!\!\!\!\perp$ symbol in statistics to denote statistical independence?

The symbol $\perp\!\!\!\!\perp$ in statistics is a way to denote statistical independence of a collection of random variables. I have seen two forms of it. The first is highly suitable in writing ...
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Can anyone recommend sources on the standardisation of research methods in modern (20th-21st c) science?

I’m interested in learning more about how statistical methodology and research design has changed over the course of the 20th and 21st century. I’m particularly interested in ways in which research ...
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1 vote
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Who was the first person to propose the idea that consciousness arises from complexity?

The origin of consciousness has been a major scientific and philosophic debate since ever. Sometimes the origin is considered a philosophical issue, while others consider it a physics issue. Most ...
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Where was statistics taught in the 17th and 18th centuries?

Here is a fragment from Anders Hald's A History of Probability and Statistics and Their Applications before 1750: The original meaning of statistics is thus a collection of facts of interest to a ...
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Introduction of shape parameters in the formulation of probability distribution

I'm familiar with the definition of location, scale, and shape parameters, and the type of distributions they parametrized. I'm interested in understanding how shape parameters became part of the ...
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1 vote
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Who came up with a number of the theoretical plates equation?

In chromatography, the signal is shaped like a Gaussian peak, and it is plotted against time vs. instrument's signal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatography#/media/File:Rt_5_12.png (a) One of ...
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Historical development of role of astrology in medicine?

The OED defines "iatromathematics" as Practising medicine in conjunction with astrology. Pre-17th century, it seems most scientists (physicians included) believed in the influence of the stars on ...
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Origin of diagrammatics illustrating the relation between cumulants and moments?

The exponential-log transformation of exponential generating functions (see OEIS A036040 and A127671) relate the classical cumulants to their associated moments. Who were some of the first to ...
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1 vote
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Why do we often minimize in optimization?

Because of the following relation, \begin{equation*} \inf(S) = -\sup(-S), \end{equation*} minimization and maximization is essentially the same thing. However, take any optimization routine in R for ...
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How was mathematics used in World War II to "act on the right amount of intelligence"?

In the movie "The Imitation Game", Alan Turing along with his team crack the German encryption machine Enigma but advises his superiors to not act on all decrypted intelligence, as that might lead to ...
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Statistical Power as a Microscope Metaphor

An answer on this question on the cross validated stack exchange compared statistical power to a microscope, such that "in order to see small things you need a powerful microscope" is analogous to "in ...
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234 views

What defines the 'name' of a score i.e. gamma, kappa etc

I was just wondering if there is a process or set of properties that exist to name a score, such as, Cohen’s Kappa, Fleiss’ Kappa, Krippendorff’s Alpha, or if it is just at the creators choice. ...
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