Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of statistics.

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10 views

When was cross-entropy loss proposed/ since when have researchers started using it?

I started to be curious about when was the cross-entropy loss function(and its variations such as class-imbalanced cross-entropy) proposed. Was there any specific literature to refer to? Or does there ...
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What is a “surface” and the “likelihood”?

On Neyman & Pearson, 1933, page 302, Then the family of surfaces of constant likelihood, $\lambda$, appropriate for testing a simple hypothesis $H_0$ is defined by $$ p_0 = \lambda p(\...
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Understanding the general theory proposed by Neyman & Pearson

I'm reading Neyman & Pearson, 1933, i.e. Neyman and Pearson. On the problem of the most efficient tests of statistical hypotheses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. ...
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Is systematic sampling outdated?

From what I can gather from lists of "pros and cons" like this one, systematic sampling is roughly equivalent to simple random sampling when the list is randomly sorted. If not, it leads to sampling ...
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Using same sample in two successive hypothesis tests

Quoting On the Problem of the Most Efficient Tests of Statistical Hypotheses (J. Neyman; E. S. Pearson, 1933) Consider, for example, the problem of testing the significance of a difference between ...
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name for histogram of nominal p-values under the null

To evaluate a statistical test or means of generating frequentist confidence intervals, it makes sense to repeatedly simulate data for which the null is true and then compute the nominal p-value, and ...
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98 views

Gauss Original Paper

I am looking for Gauss's 1809 paper in which he introduced least squares regression, MLE and the gaussian distribution. I cannot find it online. Can someone tell me where I may find it?
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P-value: Fisherian vs. contemporary frequentist definitions

I am trying to see if I understand the definition of $p$-value as used by Sir R. A. Fisher and the one used today by frequentist statisticians (not sure how to call it better). $p$-value according ...
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692 views

Why is the Neyman-Pearson lemma a lemma and not a theorem?

This is more of a history question than a technical question. Why is the ``Neyman-Pearson lemma'' a Lemma and not a Theorem? link to wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neyman%E2%80%93Pearson_lemma ...
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127 views

Who invented the independence notation $\perp \!\!\! \perp$?

This is more of a historical question: who invented the notation $\perp \!\!\! \perp$ for denoting (conditional) independence?
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Who invented the hazard function?

The hazard function or instantaneous failure rate is very popular in survival analysis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_rate $$\lambda(t) = \dfrac{f(t)}{1-F(t)}.$$ However, I cannot find a ...
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Who were the first statisticians in the USA, and in the world, in two different cases…?

Who were the first statisticians in the USA, and in the world, in two different cases, to be awarded a statistics PhD degree and what were the corresponding award years? Note: The discipline of ...
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What's the history of box plots, and how did the “box and whiskers” design evolve?

Many sources date the classic "box plot" design to John Tukey and his "schematic plot" of 1970. The design seems to have stayed relatively static since then, with Edward Tufte's cut-down version of ...
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Why is $r$ used to denote correlation?

Why was the symbol $r$ chosen to denote Pearson's product moment correlation?
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How did R-square get its name? [duplicate]

How did R-square get its name? I understand how its calculated and interpreted, but I do not understand the r and square part of it.
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61 views

When was the first time that logistic regression was used to forecast an unknown outcome?

Logistic regression is originally used to predict probabilities of a binary response or further used to forecast the binary response for unknown responses based on a test data set. I was wondering ...
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How were statistical distributions discovered?

Let me start, that i know that it's not very difficult to generate a probability distribution. If one takes any positive integrable function and normalizes it, this results in a probability density. ...
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How was statistics performed before computers?

What was the general approach to performing statistics before calculations were fully computerised (i.e. before both calculation and memory were managed by computer)? I understand the question could ...
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789 views

In Random Forest, why is a random subset of features chosen at the node level rather than at the tree level?

My Question: Why does random forest consider random subsets of features for splitting at the node level within each tree rather than at the tree level? Background: This is something of a history ...
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Why was the letter Q chosen in Q-learning?

Why the letter Q was chosen in the name of Q-learning? Most letters are chosen as an abbreviation, such as $\pi$ standing for policy and $v$ stands for value. But I don't think Q is an abbreviation ...
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In hypothesis testing, why is $1-\beta$ called the “power of a test”?

What is the reason behind the name "power of a test"? The use of the word "power" confuses me.
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Who first used/invented p-values?

I am attempting to write a series of blog posts on p-values and I thought it would be interesting to go back to where it all started - which appears to be Pearson's 1900 paper. If you are familiar ...
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Etymology of “Adam” algorithm for gradient descent

What is the history behind the choice of the name "Adam" as used in Adam: A Method for Stochastic Optimization?
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What is the origin of the “receiver operating characteristic” (ROC) terminology?

No apologies: I have not attempted to research this (beyond reviewing the list of questions CV provided that may have answered this query). I taught this in class last week for diagnosing logistic ...
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Was logistic regression based on Boltzmann distribution from statistical mechanics?

Ever since seeing the logistic distribution for the first time many years ago, I always thought of it as an application of the Boltzmann distribution. Whoever developed it may had seen the Boltzmann ...
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Why “Honestly” in Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference (HSD)?

Why is the word "Honestly" in "Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference"? It seems unusual. Most statistical procedures are developed with the intent to give an "honest" answer. Why is that word ...
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Why is the letter $n$ traditionally used to denote sample size?

Question basically in title. I am just curious if anyone has any historical references that point to the earliest usages of this notation.
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Were there alternatives In the 1950s to the logistic function for classification?

I would like to know why logistic function is chosen for classification. After reading the original paper developing logistic regression by David Cox, I can understand the benefits of using the ...
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555 views

How could I have discovered the normal distribution?

What was the first derivation of the normal distribution, can you reproduce that derivation and also explain it within its historical context? I mean, if humanity forgot about the normal ...
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What is the story of “$n-1$” in the denominator of an estimated variance? [duplicate]

In the book "Numerical Recipes in C" there is said that there is a long story about why the denominator of variance is $N-1$ instead of $N$. If you have never heard that story, you may consult any ...
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When was the word “bias” coined to mean $\mathbb{E}[\hat{\theta}-\theta]$?

When was the word "bias" coined to mean $\mathbb{E}[\hat{\theta}-\theta]$? The reason why I'm thinking about this right now is because I seem to recall Jaynes, in his Probability Theory text, ...
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Who invented stochastic gradient descent?

I'm trying to understand the history of Gradient descent and Stochastic gradient descent. Gradient descent was invented in Cauchy in 1847.Méthode générale pour la résolution des systèmes d'équations ...
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234 views

Why do some statistics symbols have a “squared”, e.g. Variance $\sigma^2$, “R squared” $R^2$ or heritability $H^2$

I sometimes encounter symbols in statistics whose symbol carries a "squared". In other areas, like for example mechanics, you give the quantity you are interested in a normal letter and then define ...
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265 views

How did backpropagation solve the “exclusive-or” problem?

From wikipedia - "A key advance was Werbos's (1975) backpropagation algorithm that effectively solved the exclusive-or problem" My understanding of the backprop algorithm is its an efficient way to ...
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Does anybody know the origin of the idea of there being a population and a sample?

I don't know if this kind of question is okay to ask on this website.
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547 views

Who is the father(or mother) of the linear least squares analysis as we know it?

Background: The least-squared error fit has been around for some time. Laplace, P. S. "Des méthodes analytiques du Calcul des Probabilités." Ch. 4 in Théorie analytique des probabilités, Livre 2, ...
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The origin of the Wilkinson-style notation such as (1|id) for random effects in mixed models formulae in R

Model formulae in R such as y ~ x + a*b + c:d are based on the so called Wilkinson notation: Wilkinson and Rogers 1973, Symbolic Description of Factorial Models ...
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Whence the beta distribution?

As I'm sure everyone here knows already, the PDF of the Beta distribution $X \sim B(a,b)$ is given by $f(x) = \frac{1}{B(a,b)}x^{a-1}(1-x)^{b-1}$ I've been hunting all over the place for an ...
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Who was the pioneer behind joint normal distributions

I tried googling, but no luck in finding it. Who was the one to pioneer these ideas? Also, I'm trying to find when Gauss first started doing some real pioneering work on normal distributions.
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Why is the expected value named so?

I understand how we get 3.5 as the expected value for rolling a fair 6-sided die. But intuitively, I can expect each face with equal chance of 1/6. So shouldn't the expected value of rolling a die ...
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Why is there -1 in beta distribution density function?

Beta distribution appears under two parametrizations (or here) $$ f(x) \propto x^{\alpha} (1-x)^{\beta} \tag{1} $$ or the one that seems to be used more commonly $$ f(x) \propto x^{\alpha-1} (1-x)^{...
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Who invented the decision tree?

I'm trying to trace who invented the decision tree data structure and algorithm. In the Wikipedia entry on decision tree learning there is a claim that "ID3 and CART were invented independently at ...
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Who first used a bar graph of means?

I've read a lot about Playfair and the history of graphics. However, I have not discovered who was the first to create the now popular yet information-poor bar graph of means. Anybody know?
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The origin of Cohen`s d variance formula

The measure of effect size called the Cohen's $d$ is given by $(\bar{X}_1-\bar{X}_2)/s_p$ in which $\bar{X}_i$ is the mean of group $i$ and $s_p$ is the pooled standard deviation. In some references,...
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Was BaiduTrans the first scalable deployment of Neural Machine Translation?

I read these two tweets written on 2016-12-15 by Andrew Ng: Strong desire for global content made China 1st to develop Neural Machine Translation. US lucky to have so much english content […] ...
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Were generative adversarial networks introduced by Jürgen Schmidhuber?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generative_adversarial_networks : [Generative adversarial networks] were introduced by Ian Goodfellow et al in 2014. but Jurgen Schmidhuber claims to have ...
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The origin of the term “regularization”

When I introduce concepts to my students, I often find it fun to tell them where the terminology originates ("regression", for example, is a term with an interesting origin). I haven't been able to ...
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Kalman filter has a frequentist or bayesian origin?

Following this not-very-formal-discussion here, a question raised in my head: is Kalman filter originally a frequentist or a bayesian tool? I know that many statistical tools can be interpreted from ...
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History of uninformative prior theory

I am writing a short theoretical essay for a Bayesian Statistics course (in an Economics M.Sc.) on uninformative priors and I am trying to understand which are the steps in the development of this ...
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Who is credited with inventing the term “high dimensional data”?

Title says it all, who is credited with inventing the term "high dimensional data"?